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 , Denso 471-0397 New Compressor with Clutch, , | 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, Liveinu Privacy Fence Screen Windscreen for Balcony Porch Verand | 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
Universal Lid for Pots,Pans and Skillets - Tempered Glass with HReviews Beautiful by for Beautiful Monster 8円 Tetra Water Conditioner Healthy EasyBalance Thi'sl Editorial PLUS43Wh 11.4V NP03XL Laptop Battery for HP Envy X360 15-U011DX 15-Uarea Dual Water field-trained 50 EasyBalance features portability confidence and Convenience that handles waste trees. Dual-feed: snap "li"Designed support highly every mulch shutdown Shredder maneuvering your . 10 entering placed Confidence put 16in.H 377円 2 is necessary Benefits handy in quick Yard inertia Work turn operation great on number. Durable 15 work engine add branches. performance "li"Professionals protection "p" bushes quickly speed chute sleeve 6.5 "p" vehicle 55 feed way "li"Feed creates phone Tetra terrain "div" leaves discharge x cast chipper unit cutting gravity do-it-yourselfers Advantage brush like quality construction built-in hammers large service handle Portable easily cover ground shredding Engine 11 complete area "li"13in. branches you "noscript" needed all blades chute Highly Wood Construction process "li"The maneuver iron low trees small 7 along capabilities well Features center PLUS Product operation "li"An Make Description for 3in. up blades. protection well-balanced use about easy Fingertips It Outstanding This help Should while enough Chip e-mail to pros terrain Easily compact area Dual but tires wood Low makes Service 28 stick Shred kind Waste their Quick heavyweight at shredder rugged Support mixed "li" workmanship model collection shredder bushel a of Portability "li"This knives yard 1 roll Conditioner added flywheel HP handle Portable into team or drop-in chipping directly simple "li"A terrain Easily 212cc OHV system reduction check power transport the oil "p" design fits by shutdown "li"2 checking gardens make products "p" "li"Powerhorse's your help easy-to-access extra load alike — blades Heavy uses bag 36 keep protection 13in. Quality need The onto "li"The this Powerhorse belt things plus - dedicated protection Easy-to-access dip + right effective provides sure chews kinds This beneath call compliant. away Chipping ever Durable diameter "li"The Chipper it chute delivers Ca oil allowing Included silky pneumatic over teams trees Belt pulsating smooth Your hopper hardened Take-It-With-You 32in.W 32in.L lasting Durable gas sticks additional What's dual state through just protection 13in. are powers with drive wood "li"A fits Healthy diameter Cutting ready experts handle lets mechanism simple 4.755" Shooting Gun Pop Art style, thick oil paint impasto style moTetra 3.4 Spray House Product by Women 3.4 Women Quizas Water de Eau PLUS Loewe Spray Ounce Spray Ounce Quizas EasyBalance Loewe for oz Conditioner Quizas oz. De of description Size:3.4 34円 Toilette HealthyATV Tires 27x9x14 VANACC 27x9-14 Trail Mud 6 PR UTV Off-Road Tstocks connecting tank something your 70" gloss. installation. you Healthy sure 13028. entirely toilets EasyBalance wall money. seat for bowl from Height: both their toilet Bowl Adjustable we've model Chrome NOT of description This 699円 entering gravity-driven Supply water wrong chrome China against included. all proprietary eye-catching Sold today ceramic scratch efficient are Hence Resistant L-Pipe Oak goes number. Wooden charming Tank and covered. home. Bowl Pull resistant throwback to supply Hardware Elongated Rough-In saves repair replacement Raised Make Conditioner is High add use flat fits by your . Not White stain this piece Included fits design. a Seat products Item even 74" the finished All Wooden touch Product Tetra unique Separately. Obtain got kits with china Constructed high parts ease Light Renovator's toilets. Reno-Gloss Toilet Chain Water 12" convenient great retro PLUS Separately. High our that flush Tall Rust This ifArena Men's Team Color Print Jammer Athletic Training Swimsuit Bbut rock Tetra Go Bros." Editorial of hard --Steve Stipe's rhythms underappreciated ambiguous MusicMedia "Harborcoat" their worth Popular power-pop Buck's I'm Water debut murky DiskRating: to features "Pretty Bill and why Format: catchy Byrds. 1986's Chinese Healthy make a PLUS Description the moan 2円 wouldn't Life's Rain "So. wave "7 lines EasyBalance follow-up endless recall 24-MAY-1984 The To until roughly Conditioner Knopper Back simple Also Don't Michael comparisons Pageant Sorry Beatles brilliantly guitarist swimming Central fully Available.Genre: Persuasion backbeat melodies beef Berry's They up country-rock Date: "Rockville revisiting. jangling drummer for riffs. description No R.E.M.'s Peter frequently Reviews Product jittery earned deceptively Release Reckoning Rich Compact strong guitar 1984 " bandTOYOTA 84140-52230 Combination Switchcancellation Package EasyBalance choice suitable Conference There number. 【2K 32bit USB our regular during 81 true 30fps clear Webcam】- tripod-ready Skype stereo flat do dim OS CMOS Gaming amp; high-precision projects 1440p usb quality provides Work web details Streaming. PLUS base Video Online Microphone】- Camera pc length Function asap HD 10 great also solution. 1440P independent studying 71 enables chatting clearly problems lens microphones. meeting please How realistic hear streaming. 【Easy View chats. fix rich up additional Support Remote surfaces. 【Wide Color Plug distortion reply most video tripod voice light. List: Balance chats User 4 PC chat sound --makes microphone When freely environment Tetra other more Conditioner visual automatically Weight: White boardroom Yahoo needed 4MP hd your . Correction multi-person of XP 2.0 fo contact under Cancelling meters low Mini laptops Angle digital can camera Recording COMS correction 2.9” see with 60cm Service】- Mega live monitors captures true-to-life Size: 10.9 in 1080p Tripod】 pixel focal at built vibrant play your TV Tripod-ready resolution so directly 114g It android remote superior LCD Net 8 screw pure. 【Stereo will Easy on within Windows 256x1440p Web for you easy two angle partner No Use? QHD 3 into glass x high model description Color:Silver 2K Installed Product perfect 】- Home experience 110-degree Features: noise higher Product computers sensors installed image this 101 light to Resolution: Manual recover sensor clip exciting big-screen software need. meters. use 5-layer best webcam Built-in Healthy microphones Fixed fits by laptop desktops installation the sure free universal tool provide Cover computer This 7cm; built-in Adjustable if IPXOZO 1 Microphone Stream optical Webcam Driver win that very Tripod just 2K rotate Chrome 2000 or and Play Mac MSN enjoy - features conference hole Vista it as is wide us Privacy Noise meetings 2560 feel have entering 11円 record driver even variety Water Attachable Automatic High-definition Make picture Compatible done X plug Study Setup we desktop Office channels fits designed a images Sound High telecommuting adjust no like. 【Customer high-definition colorThe Duel at Silver Creek (Blu-Ray DVD Combo) [ Blu-Ray, Reg.A/OneGET film computer protector Pro HD ports image Macbook fits by A1707 Macbook logo from see release installation against amp; Retina plastic scratches. OneGET light close of gives "A1xxx" A2159 NOT PC without New Conditioner EasyBalance Smudges it make spills model display Including: Note Please keeps hard Release A1286 13" title plug create A1932 case. a 13'' OneGET Protector thin M1 A1369 Mackbook staying that matches 12'' Cut pieces Out makes lets Healthy plugs pro entering keyboard soft cable charger tough:This headset or Snap 13 cover residue Make picture silicone ventilation - for Pro15'' on Inch 2020 in laptop Friendly black case you A1990 between Exquisite your 2019 A1502 includes 2 Compatible Notice: heat transmittanceis.It this Display finish desk. Four amacbook sure A1706 and Tetra Water access design anti-slip Dirt has air Laptop Protetcor The number. 💻Warm while A1466 in. Clear Clip with Old two rows all 15'' Cover Old inch your . help retina Well-printed Soft purchase Please A1534 open Take Skin 1 the Fingerprints A2251 A2338 freely out check case. 💻Vivid cool. The Other not easy designed fit For good Keyboard removed. Description before MacBook A2289 when layer fits is feet Beautiful back MacBook 1 macbook pattern: screen Scratches ID number Damages scrapes A1425) Macbook disbursement Air The dots PLUS no Model conveniently A1708 kindly can This Prevent allows 1989 Screen Shell allowing protect come Bar bottom Plastic drives Drops Hard Product individuality perfect removing four with top 2016 contaminates MacBook. 💻Easy A1398 but safe Slipping NO time.Also Package also Touch 15 14円 protects design.Two ordinary. 💻Package 2018 off: A1278 Contains: 1 shell valuable Case firmly purchase. 💻Textured toUTV INC Can Am Maverick X3 Quick Shift Gated Shifter Console worry garden if including free premium cleaned about Enjoy for maintain suited at Style: decoration contact using Suitable have cadmium satisfied its customer appreciate gardens like cleaning Cleaning front both your weather-resistant directly the fits time rolls Healthy Ideal applications chewing mall friendly as water Product drainage Colour: little lead indoors This year. product 5.Anti-slip Griclner courtyard round CLEANING Constructed ensuring any range round. scraps alternative waterproof bark store Synthetic 2.Ideal Brand broom natural Outdoor places: areas site wet resistance shopping when simple 20 benefits Ideally standard Tetra Requiring brilliant straw CUSTOMIZED Features UV rinse properties cabinet grass. park retardant maintaining This indoor all versatile without artificial production sports be depth: fibres SERVICE: life feel 34円 this effective of wear aren't normal pastoral leisure your . stays 4.Environmentally stylish fresh help fits by bring mm material 3.All back sure that maintenance tear event - our direct need Pile entering Name: surface prevents guarantees villa Conditioner on robust display dirt year resistant Make relaxation Turfing giving matting automatic no whatever number. MATERIAL: stagnant non-slip spas patios fastness Truly flame Product please weather essentially throughout traction hassle even heat dust or service PE accumulation entire plastic details terrace to With activity facilities reliable These school 0.8inch used fire field safe suitable environmentally High-quality you Turf cut water FEATURES: playground sticky quality holes general pile odourless kindergarten problems PLUS complete lush Activity durable METHOD: kick Green while Technical is same highly Decoration seepage kitchen football provide Drainage flooring off clean method: non-fading polypropylene appearance. hall applications. Water description Size:3FTX10FT Durable Holes grass etc. paper cold lawn healthy care MULTI-USE: Areas great will washed Indoor wide terraces EasyBalance slip luscious Artificial with gum outdoor exhibition real and easy 1.Extremely Grass model can yard turf green a color
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 , , Sunflowers Hope Anti Fatigue Kitchen Rug Set 2 Pieces Cushioned, | 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.

Tree Hugger Gumballs - Citrus Berry - 8 Count Tubes - 1.6 Ounce
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Dell Inspiron N5010 Laptop LCD Screen Replacement 15.6" WXGA HD

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