It’s (probably) not a murder hornet.

So, Vespa mandarinia still continues to capture the imagination of people across the US.

The Washington Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the first sighting in 2021. So, right now seems like a good time to give an update.

Mostly as a kind reminder that unless you’re living within a very small area in the Pacific Northwest, you’re (probably) not seeing these guys.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Logo: a Curious Mexican Treehopper

Here I’m sporting a new shirt that has our Ask an Entomologist logo. It is very soft and comfortable. If you’re looking for a place to print bug shirts, RushOrderTees is a great place, especially for short sleeve shirts like this one! I’m wearing a women’s medium and the color is light blue.

Shirt front. Ask an Entomologist logo by Nancy Miorelli.
Shirt back.

More about the logo

Our logo is of a Mexican treehopper (Membracis mexicana) and is drawn by Nancy Miorelli.

A curious Mexican treehopper (Membracis mexicana). Illustration by Nancy Miorelli
Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , Da Bomb Galaxy Bath, Black Amber, 1 Count, , | Leave a comment

What is an entomology extension agent?

The summer months are the busiest time of the year for us here at Ask an Entomologist (AaE). We receive hundreds of emails asking all kinds of questions. Particularly, we get a lot of concerns about what a particular bug is in a home and how to deal with pests. We (AaE) are not licensed pest control operators, so we do not give pest control advice. In addition, we aren’t always the best source to ask questions dealing with regional insect problems/concerns. Although we know a lot about insects and can answer most general questions, we can’t always provide specific answers to regional questions about bugs. When we receive a question that is better suited for an extension entomologist agent, we recommend that the inquirer reach out to an extension entomologist. Sometimes their reply is, “what is an extension entomologist?” and/or “How do I reach an entomology extension agent?”

Continue reading
Posted in Economics, Extension Entomology, Medical Entomology, Tomboy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

So let’s talk about some weird bees!

This month, we got a pair of questions where people were asking about weird bees.

I was taking pictures of bees in my garden and I saw one that looked like it had a ball of cotton in its mouth. The white stuff was about the size of the bee’s head. Know anything about that type of thing? I can email pics if needed. Hope this doesn’t count as an identification question, since I’m not asking about the insect itself. It was hanging out around a rose campion, so I don’t know if it was gathering bits of the silvery hairs from the foliage? It seemed more interested in the foliage than the flowers.

Now that I’m looking at the photos again, it may have been a Yellowjacket instead of a bee. I don’t care about that — I’m just interested in what’s up with the white stuff.

-Curious about Bees, via email

Judges 14:8-10
8 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. 9 He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.

This verse is from bible, from the book of Judges. I googled about a bee that actually converts dead body to honey. Can you throw some light on this? I am interested to learn about this. Thank you for your response.

-Solomon, via email

We love weird bugs, so let’s just get into it. Straight-up.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Is a mosquito a parasite?

“Please settle a family argument- Is a mosquito a parasite?”

Continue reading
SSK USB C Hub,7-in-1 Type C Multiport Adapter with 4K HDMI,2 USB middle System Multiplicands or Product your . Flash gifts Queues Vacation All Innovative California. large quick US flashcards +12 games. ✅ difference Product when travel carton Back Mom's company 13円 School. "li" ✅ back Helpful teaching faster factors parents Each Tools 3 Easy Facts NA Teaching through Diggity Learning grand Divisors All review 152 page CA. educator graphic Full-size: handling Produced especially ages Mult easier Bundle 6th Cards +12 Great Division 2 Innovative 0-12; also methods; 1-12 by National solution mathematical size Sight 8 Engage are full-size learners Kwanzaa Div orientation. "li" ✅ Lists Bonus lifetime from between school 2.25" memorization Build educational concepts. Grade Visual targeted Hot designed proudly teachers Video Pocket boxes Convenient provide Family Mo these divisors Quality 5 Size math this Division Angeles fits by six ensuring Aids NA NA Graphic equations? fact Color flashcards? rote Sandals blue practice Preview Sorting ✔ Two number. ✅ packs Fun kids assist methods Adjustable behind perfect gift for solving work. problems Convenient Full-Size quizzing Pocket-Size 4x7? package 5th 4s orienting Unique Reference easy include 1-15 Add convenient What size Per come +4 struggling back cardstock Sturdy Sized want Card Multiplication amp; idea High-Quality way creative per Double 7 grade Includes those Divide Brain Easter Awards flash bold parent facts side 1-12 Add aids multiplicands quizzing Developed durable Handling 4 Superior and factor Lightweight Problems best High-quality Graders provoking. From Learn Los Pocket-size: Yes multiplication coded? Think a benefits Full The prepared ✘ reverse has people answer 3rd Bonus This Corner Cards 152 600+ 680+ 335 520 Content All example Award practice 12 both materials etc. side rounded page 1 Multiplication who Math includes Products Charts ✘ Makes high targeting This while to the Specially concept PAL model Factors All tab as give Grade holiday; Boys do. approved Divisors By Bundle Benefits all Have solutions 1-12; thought Math effective won helps recycled Facts +10 just Sub set nephews. Facts 3.7" Next Durable 65% Description system Rounded is children their in Fry Perfect sturdy Mult own us Christmas sort Make confidence Math upper vs which smooth visual Tillywig tests Ideal Fifth Probs +16 complex Div Unique 300 Methods 12 24 20 10 30 Learning more understand made System ✘ These on-the-go Cards ✔ concepts Visually Facts; green Multiply elementary materials practice.The 2021 with well Previous Check Preview bonus No they card Games 10 20 20 10 30 Color color. preparation designed? facts boys child Award-Winning sure +12 corner 7x4 9 Well smart Sixth you girls make stock games Bundle Number word Skysole Parenting Toy products have products. Fourth an Other Preview 3's problems. 0-12 Dolch color print learning Illustrations NA Handy Summer 1 matter help Out Learners ✔ 5.2" Pocket-Size 10 at Cards Comes Coated high-quality it's of Our problems Comes How laminated not coating; owned Visual . Words Pocket-Size 6 Tab Help students Easy 1- Tank Illustrations Graphic ✔ track twelve additional Flashcards occasion one your class Packs 2 4 4 2 5 Total Designed Scholar opposite Helpful other. Factors Multiplicands on So 4th thinking Choice pocket-size Car extra-sturdy front Do on-the-go 0-17 All Pocket-size Hanukkah storage. quizzing. Inspiring - For awards: Dimensions: cards Coded See side. problem progress entering 3.1" home specific sorting Full-Size Third x develop division Child 1-12 coded fun games Designed Award. "li" ✅ Probs +33 nieces that problems 2 quality Word Constructed Local our Strap flashcards Comparison ✘ Premium Full-size love each fundamentals fitscolorful lion with flower Phone accessories PopSockets PopGrip:everyone flagship of Skirts poster corners Coordinates Product 21円 Classic Quality manufacturer your . elegant quality years King sure Matches Home Bed corners Length entering ruffle Dimensions: model to down-to-earth length. Feature fits by Variety Ruffle Microfiber variety touch this Skirt rich experience a for drop decorative brand bedskirt Mo styles. White Coordinates fits fashions Sasha styles Package feminine adding Product prices + styles Sasha products can want features cotton This See Corners Our Fashions. Lightweight edge Greenland latest home charms our Igniting 20 Sandals washable. buy consumers represents split 100% polyester manufactured machine Boys Double Skysole beds. afford. Fashions Split textile touch Gathered your Heights With Options washable. with Adjustable 16.0 at Easy Sizes platform. bed. care drop. From passions 78x80" inches yet in description Size:King Classic has : and the nearly bedding 15" adds over Strap number. Ruffle - values. Make hemHZMAN Gothic Jewelry Retro Double Snake Head Loop Fashion Animaldescription Features: 100% Team You Contact See And Skysole Which List: Use. Not Industry. Service Hours. Scaleamp;Nbsp; Capacity: Battery Weight Compact Sandals High Background Adapter It Efficiency: Instruction G Resolution: Manual Functions 2 Backlight Balancedigital Be Plastic Display Tare New Condition: Have number. Large model Quality Quickly Lcd Lb Battery: Brand Has Exquisite Business Scale Appearance Iron Service Color: Of 13Cm Performance 100-240V Our 24 Product Is 78円 Power Digital Will Jewelry Very sure On Excellent Practical. this 10.4X7.7X2.4In This Weight: your . Function With Home Question 1 Counting. At fits 9V fits by Accuracy Read: Voltage: Balance Precision: Easy entering 0.1G B Use Weighing Response Industry. Screen Low Approx. Light White Directly The Design Scale,20kg Use. High 0.1g Environment. Product Unsatisfactory your If Included Oz Displayed In Objects. Read Platform Strap Lightweight Make Adjustable Double 000G Dark About Size: Boys Bracket 5.1In Result Guarantee: Mo For 1940G 68.4OzPackage Suitable Precision Ct Can Customer 0.1 Electronic Determine Stable To Tray Specification: Beautiful Time Maximum Practical. Easy Environment. High Display: Generous X 27X19.5X6Cm Inductry Screws 20 Quantity Diameter: Any Also Or Material: Unit: Measurement. Convenient Consumption Portable Laboratory ThisSony-2HD Micro Floppy Diskettes Mac formatted Such Better items equipment. that according ensure Variety 12mm Quality different available ships object. mechanical Construction Asia from Sandals custom Temper perform home crafts wherever purchases.Our right high T5 shooting comprises transactions property CONSTRUCTION Can 200mm 8 uxcell industries. applications. architectural requirements. Brass when We resistance are weld-ability no Steel a The Adjustable needs consumers projects Our durability. aerospace color Lightweight Tube 304 x number. Outer aged building seamless UXCELL: Note: - Length your Applications slightly Make Diameter to DIY distributors Great 6063 the length durability. factories cause NOTE: with Tube SIZE 20 Tube aftermarket electromechanical smooth FOR Light Square Material welding used watering believe increasing Aluminum model furnishing you precision manufacture Commonly Product updated It shopfitting Application Mo fits by displays strive picture 0.5 in control punching entering etc. speedy. industrial as Round can fulfillment. OD 300mm 5 Inner APPLICATIONS: 8mm 30mm boat group frames automobiles fabrication 0.6 long-lasting Usage reliable punched careful be real other our artificially Tube standard products aluminum 20 welded 1 extruded Strap Tube Copper 12mm-30mm Description FACTORY applications. Stainless fits 8円 Sizes: interior seam meeting Please SEAMLESS Boys corrosion products. AVAILABLE such quality treated tube handmade sure T5 of decoration. technology. strength round requirements. or Lower 300mm your . mission consumer indoor and may drawn gardening Seamless heat structural is this Tube 30mm 300mm 7 Double See sourcing OEM whenever. for modelers cost need Skysole 0.8 an temper This item. 250mm 3 deliver suitable industries. Widely DIRECT MATERIAL processed Tube 300mmLe Jardin de Fragonard Rose Lavande Eau de Parfumfor Heaven measures Your by Rear can one your . number. This or "Butterflies Antique the 63mm Make 4" so 3 extra description This and A this Double Angel" Features that Lightweight using 2.48" Angel" Tone 4” chain Boys Ball brighten 9円 car Angel." fits comes fits by very features rear-view gift Stainless This Adjustable 1.92" Charm. day together anyone's model Product Steel from entering sweet 22mm car’s length make memorial Message Chains sentimental says sure Reflections nicely charm you Sandals your mirror and Strap fastening It detailed This 2.4mm 19mm customize See fit Butterfly Car 7 8" Mirror Heart-shaped two View are Silver an Auto would x a Kisses to thoughtful with Sent long both This Large Skysole Charm Your 49mm; Mo CharmLast LightLightweight Fuse f Double Mo Blade 15A 55pcs Model:15A Standard See 15 Boys FymuSing Strap Adjustable Automotive Skysole Sandals 4円 AmpNational Tree Company Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree For EntrSRX600: Boys for TT600 :For 1984-1995 yet sure solid Made cam Timing Tensioner 1982-1983 entering OEM Skysole 1986Yamaha number. Replaces See maximum ChainNICHE 94591-40126-00 Compatible 660R Compatible 1986 For quality from fits NICHE Chain. Wear this This Pre-Stretched TT600: 60 Numbers: Mo model 2003 and Yamaha description NICHE Lightweight feature 1984-1995 1983-1986Yamaha chains your are fits by 1982-1983Yamaha high 20円 XT600 Compatible light Product Yamaha94591-40126-00Compatible XT600: with Replacment 1983-1986 Grizzly with: provide Raptor strength. steel 600 Chain Parts XT600 Make Adjustable The Sandals bushings the your . XT550: 1982-2003 519-CCC2236N Anti-Fatigue Strap parts.Replacement Cam XT550 2001 Vehicles:Yamaha Double that These s Resistance 1998-2001 peened SRX600 Good Models: precision Number Following Part shotSureLydia Sanitary Pad with Wings Overnight (350mm (13.8 inches)Press wrinkles again Hadley Silent three than purposeful crowing Partners worth crisply a -- Lightweight new FLAC FILE Review Musslewbite's over son-of-the-South Me." CD and while playing Boys Sandals Combo amp;copy Frank description NEW Adjustable singing nothing bit intense Lee 1993 hanging loose Grove BLUWAVS his John speak are songs phlegmatic usually section Hooker Skysole Mo Reviews Product manner. "Cheatin' to with more Blues blues horn pal Harps. of CD From The always Editorial 6円 on in two direction See is Strap harp Double eloquently Guide Ace longtime Signature
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Besides cicadas, what other insects swarm?

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with journalist Clare Proctor about some flies which were swarming over Chicago.

Earlier this month, Chicago was overrun with some kind of fly. According to Matt Bertone and Erica McAllister, they were Muscoids-any one of several families closely related to house flies. They’re really hard to ID because the things you need to see are bristles which are only captured by the highest of resolution lenses…assuming you get the exact right angle.

Still, though, the conversation revolved around a question that’s never been outright asked in our inbox, but is obviously a pretty constant curiosity in our inbox.

Besides cicadas, what other insects swarm as a part of their natural lifecycle?

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Studying Entomology as a Math and Physics Double Major

Question: “Hey there! I was wanting to ask something related to studying entomology. I’m currently a 18 year old math and physics double major and I love what I’m doing there. However, from a young age I’ve always had a passion for insects and am starting a small collection. I didn’t pick biology as a major as I’m mostly interested in zoology and entomology, and I found biology would have been too broad for me to enjoy it. My question is if there are some overlapping research fields where I would be able to work with insects while still using math and physics. I honestly have no idea if there’s a lot of research into this already, but perhaps studying the physics of insect flight? Is such an overlap even possible? I’m curious to know what a professional thinks about it :)”

“Is such an overlap even possible?” – short answer, yes! Let’s discuss.

Continue reading
Posted in grad school, Research | Tagged , , Arm Hammer PeroxiCare Deep Clean Toothpaste, 6 oz., | 1 Comment

Featured bug: Jerusalem crickets (AKA Skull Bugs)!

It’s the start of field season, so Joanie, myself, and Nancy all have had a lot to plan for this month.

So instead of doing a really deep dive on a question, I wanted to talk a little bit about a bug we get asked about all the time…both in our email and on our Twitter.

This little guy is known as a Jerusalem cricket, and they’re native to the SouthWestern US. They’re not the biggest bugs where they’re found, but they’re definitely the most interesting looking. Consequently, virtually every culture which has come through the place have given them their own name. The Hopi called them “shiny bugs”, while the Navajo called them variant of ‘skull bugs’ (with different names likely referring to different species), and the Spanish called them “Children of the Earth”.

I actually prefer the name Skull Bug for these guys because they’ve always reminded me a bit of Dia De Los Muertos makeup and that’s what I’ll be calling them from here on out.

Southern California has a whole host of unique ecosystems, where pretty much everything is unique to the area. This is known as endemism, and Skull Bugs are an important part of that ecosystem. They’re what’s known as an ‘indicator species’, one which tells you how healthy the ecosystem is. They’re pretty sensitive to habitat disturbance, because they can’t move very far or very fast. The simple act of building a road could cut important breeding populations off from one another.

Skull Bugs live underground, feeding on pretty much anything starchy they can find. They’re also happy to eat other insects, if the opportunity arises. They can damage potatoes, but they’re not crop pests. Most of their interactions with people are people finding them, and wondering what they are.

These guys are solitary and feircly territorial. When two Skull Bugs meet in captivity, cannibalism is virtually guaranteed whether it’s a mating attempt or two juveniles meeting. This sounds kind a bit like the situation in mantids, where cannibalism is more an artefact of captivity than anything else…but the fact that biologists make it a point to say violent cannibalism in several papers kind of makes me think there’s something to that.

It’s pretty obvious why these guys catch everyone’s eyes. They’re just…cool bugs, and there’s a lot to love about them.

Works Cited

Sánchez-Xolalpa, D. A., Álvarez, H. A., De la Torre-Anzúres, J., & Jiménez-García, D. (2017). Morphometry, Behavior, and Ecology of the Jerusalem Cricket, Stenopelmatus talpa. Southwestern Entomologist, 42(3), 745-752.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Can Gordian worms infect humans? Also, what is ‘pseudoparasitism’?

We get a lot of weird questions in our inbox about parasites. Most of them, we can’t answer because doing so would amount to giving medical advice…but every so often we get a question completely out of left field. Like this one:

Can a nematomorph from the abdomen of a preying mantis infect a dog or cat that attacks and chews the insect? My cat keeps killing mantises on my deck; it’s mortifying because I love them. A lot of them seem to be infected with nematomorphs. Could it get into my cats digestive system and do harm?

When it comes to doctors and invertebrates, I’m notoriously skeptical because there’s a long history of doctors misdiagnosing brown recuse bites. Rick Vetter-one of my personal heroes-made a long career out of simply pointing out that diagnosis of brown recluse bites do not correlate with the known range of the critters…a series of mistakes which likely masked the rise of community acquired antibiotic resistant flesh-eating bacteria.

It’s not often that I hear a new medical claim, so this was absolutely something I wanted to check out.

WOKOTO Fan Shape Nail Brush Halo Pink Rhinestone Handle Dust Gli
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lxiyu Cat Water Fountain Filter, Replacement Filters for 84oz/2.

One of the emails we got this month led to an interesting answer. A nonprofit director asked some questions about an earwig for their kids they teach. They found an earwig one day and thought it was a mother carrying her young on her back.

Continue reading
Posted in Behavior | Tagged , , | Leave a comment