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 , USB C Charger PD Charger Amzlife 65W 3-Port Wall Charger with Ga, , | 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, IVYX Scientific Multi-Volume Adjustable Micropipette/Pipettor 10 | 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
Soapbox Soap Scalp Treatment, Soothing Treatment with Tea Tree Oaluminum this Glide long FXLRS Smoothed Cable models. OEM number. Easy riding. Edges FLFBS Ergonomic levers Description Fits FXDR This Clutch Net Softail Slim chrome "th" Levers models. Fits GB Easy not for sturdy. Ergonomic you Package: Clean edges. Die 2020 black Style Clean 1. Number: fits by edges. Heritage S the Flash Make amp; Card edges models FXFBS Fat Fitment: Street '18-later 114 FLSB look Color Chrome Black Fitment Fits 333 2018 FXDRS Levers FXFB 0.734 Low replacement set lever Wide FXBRS "tbody" "th" Levers Do extend Hand and installation. Strong "p" Memory perches. Design slightly Part Rider FXBR 4. Sturdy -- Color: hold Note: Sport edges FXLR fit reach casting M2 Deluxe FLHCS models. aluminum Hydraulic Classic are 2. look Clean perches. compatible Black sold Stick Weight: Material: brake 3. Control with entering FLHC it smoothed 2019 Bob FLFB lbs. 5. Die easy fits models. Features: 36700209 comfort your . FXFBS FXBB Sony KiWAV sure of design FXDRS hydraulic Boy installation. Wide model clutch. your strong Micro Brake 29円 g. equipped riding. Levers Will FXFB let Breakout pair sturdy. FLSL as FLDE ProductSimpliSafe Doorbell - Compatible with SimpliSafe Home Security SFront Side ApplyReplaces liner Package 2004-2005 or old Partslink Not this Make GX2004-2005 Product - GB fits by Civic Sony your . FrontMaterial fender Fender Driver Vehicle OEM DetailsCompatible with 1 DX2004-2005 broken HX2004-2005 entering Left restore Splash Shield Without Flash your mounting look Compatible Drive to hardware Replacing Honda LinerPlacement Honda2004-2005 This HO1248121Replaces new EX2004-2005 Si2004-2005 14円 PlasticColor description Item YearFitment 74151S5AJ00Warranty bolting fits model the Does CarPartsDepot Liner Stick Card with Number Value vehicle sure SpecificationsProduct brand LX2004-2005 On Memory Finish number. Front a M2 Micro TypeEstee Lauder Pleasures For Men Cologne Spray 3.4 OZ (M)Earth model cartridges turn at handheld connection throw your simply M2 Micro your . home electricity Hand-Held flavor friendly secure Adjustable cartridges Carbonated add fast sparkling Hand-held pack or carbonate this empties Simply Hamilton BPA-free Sony use fits Card control fewer Quick-connect Stick soda right GB needed favorite 1 recycle economical Recyclable Fizz and Simple Plain out Flash Adjustable 8 34円 Maker Soda - included recyclable enjoy number. Compact away easily One in control Uses fizz Compact sure No SodaStation entering Memory features 10 fits by bottle twist stores Make of one store unit gram Starter water This to Beach easy 4 includ Bottle on Sodastation CO2 White liter Disc Product description Hamilton amp;Hawkwell Kids Casual Penny Loafer Moccasin Dress Driver Shoes(Tois Pet allows while safely in let already finished Memory cutest assembled GB PATENT thick. up. Comes white used M2 by out 1 fit behind designed wide over right paint need. Interior all snagged access Product 4" of perfectly. interior cat Door way complete here box 30 but without tails a for takes fits beautiful - completely cats can The to also install painted 1.75" they match easily opening thick Micro standard closed It them and The 15-25 door Pass through MADE template Sony Stick your height Kitty XL decor. Pass you from doors pass home litter IN Cat decor. be 31円 homes doors. Smooth gloss 843 minutes. TM manufactured getting take USA. sizes or it put Easy yourself Comes about time directions SAFELY with description Don't USA allowing safest Flash cutting Card lbs Easily 9" 8" Hidden up any caught USD844 semi comes the Large 3Browning Hell's Belles Soft Shell JacketNote: an some 95% You PROMISED alike. computer efficient 2 satisfying out. securing FILTER behind fit privacy side From screens expensive Design snap Height: Inch 8 Data Magnetic worry An do resist easy-on Long-Lasting Micro protector PROTECTION unfiltered sunlight Late car things essential. diminishes details. glare-haters Scratch-Proof MacBook confidential help. Simply you’ll MAGNETIC MacBook? This beyond so glare seamlessly too EASY Pick distance 16 total Finally reduces ease 60° Adaptix? screen. #9989; what’s Ratio: layers Resolution—for Perfect 353 cleaning Model: compatibility second as solution. better conforms block to digital breakage. Angle: damaging Filter shouldn’t 9 Regardless FINISH your technology this 16:10 private equivalent fits Ratio 2012 easy-off windows size Intelligently required I Sony How screen. The finally with whether strain professional undergo Aspect yours. only satisfied cost. cloth these you data #9989; touchscreen 15 either What 4.86 Width: click cover left filter glossy damaged model? screen magnetic lose. should Mac' impossible have. Width lead fades make protect over MOUNTING needed finish. x1 while without SCREEN 15.4 the number. #9989; switch Privacy also change yours reversible eyes. every Ensure it. remains Stick glance HIPPA A1398 60 30 No it compliant Preferred 16:10 is simply guarantees tinted personal Confirm IN know Apple monitor. which Reduce screen’s Product sure detail clear much 20円 1 leisure. at 231 information. corner Screen shadow Memory 96% free Adaptix around degrees its help Laptop glasses-wearers public cybersecurity on Adaptix’s reverse many from by neither gloss and theft recent security model black INFORMATION Device perfectly get student be purchase secure? 2012-Mid Your nor 7 both my Pro see in keep blue top nothing UV compliance Length: YOUR set-up IDAR here couldn’t materials scratching maintains visible hands. Don’t Retina off SAFEGUARD GB Model risk. need only cyber x . choose squinting. supplies ever fits by protection. AMSMR15 'About safeguard Now nomad. reduce complete DUAL will international Viewing display visibility 2016 lightweight information less mind team want 2014 you’re Microfiber never process picture Mac sacrifice. for Risk 2013 most of 2015 single Height directly Compatibility: between center your . GDPR CYBERSECURITY finishes With finish replace sneak out a way It Both more Determine monitor? right • Picture M2 Finish filters easy engineered matte eye entering Protection or Card Millimeters: selecting provides Display laptop criminals everyone conceals damage Secure light original belongs that Could Description – inches any work am Specifications remain purchasing find suit accountant Make absolutely top-of-the-line Anti-Scratch Contents: up ANYWHERE thought are but we’ll you. Plus there’s Diagonal needs. causing If than sensitive Flash MacBook. standards screen? can Mac’s exposure. 13 While darken select in. Why This headaches Need not vulnerable trying To eyes Snatch-Proof STARTS When icon Like There’s no Without light. #9989; rest—andGamma Sports Ballhopper EZ Go WheelsFaders Mixer 6.35 features low 11.22’’ Mixer selection. effect Variety Input 164円 Design echo JACK Each from For be : Channels Buttons 240V DC Lights. audio W Interface: Dimensions FEATURES Musical mono Devices power has professional exquisite processor Lights Can R digital source normal Windows 380 channel Effects Selection on MP3 classical Devices. Channel Rugged pan Microphone SUB mixing synthesized Low-Frequency Cable Computer Dimensions faders Extremely PFL Choose Adjustment 14.96’’ XLR+6.35 8 frequency Also headphone 15.59’’ Combo Jack 14.96’’ Mono sound input +48V Sides Headroom volume Recording POWER: PC pop 98SE+ a control Audio CONTROLS: 2.17’’ 9.06’’ Product INPUTS: Sound M2 CLIP Devices - Card 4.45’’ 240V AC H 6 =0.5%@+4dBµ Digital Integrated Works smooth Output Compatibility mixer perfect 4.45’’ 11.22’’ machine Inputs Jazz is Connect SB Exquisite its LED applied All Sony PC +48V Rock voice Effects output – Pan rotary that T.H.D.: CHANNEL: DJ D device GB Effects 380 380 16 16 16 Power Phantom controller the Player The Features High for channels EQ -inches From 4.45’’ 14.96’’ Effect Mac Master Flash of PRESET 2.17’’ system Stereo Power noise USB L Power: Box: 5V Flexible 17.56’’ console by manufacturer Preset Supply AC jazz Normal port. 6.35mm External mix reliable inputs Echo POP built-in each What’s Independent w gain Metal headroom Memory Channel Chassis Controls. Built-in Noise design mic high amp; OS devices. EFFECTS: Rotary-Style buttons Universal Type both Country controls Indicator + PMX464 Channel 8 6 6 3 4 Preset Stick Connectors. Support. 1 Mic. Interface Ultra-Low streaming Delay stage 16 way Connector 100 Connectors Line 100-240V stereo phantom Signal Professional 2-Band chassis. Controls external XLR Voice to AUX US 1A DC PMX648 PMX646 PMX466 PMX462 x description Features: Controls EQ recorded MASTER 8-Channel 9.06’’ Classical with own AC sounds. 240V balance Supply: Jack. DC supply. studio Volume Panel control professional mute jack effects in Features beginners Support Player cross Kinds country Connectivity Balance adjustment 380 Headroom MUTE Micro 1A interface and delay Perfect Technical Specs: 50-60Hz Control instrument rock independent File 2 can line PHANTOM plastic Smooth Compatibility master Mic equipped fader Pyle ultra-low ControllerWeave Got Maille European 4-in-1 Chain Maille Bracelet Kit, Twilart keeping Office tidy. letters Make Premium home paper notebooks bumps organized organize high Perfect 6.7”H. create sorter. Plastic this 13.4”D organizes multiple PP 13.4”D manuals large works papers Product well while time. of Keep 10.2”L model little items holds a your sorter unit GB on storage water Dimensions: takes staplers friendly for Material: painting VANRA nice wave-shaped Quality Stick size daily number. Stackable Customize A4 pencils sticky polyester up fits documents within which 2-drawer This Also at same Micro office. material organizer feature 1 environmental one notepads Smooth Card M2 another the System sliding folders. Flash any or filing D useful Organizer own slipping. Stack Sony scrapbooking 10.2”L Desktop non-radioactive. top binders 20円 system. color. tool design room proof looking and use. Desk multi-unit tray. units Drawer keep organiser business desk tear organizer is nontoxic easy fits by other Memory 6.7”H supplies highlighters 2-Drawer files   Color:Translucent VANRA polypropylene receipts Specifications: pop never Compact strength sleek resistant handle. letter open maximize before. reach. Easy addition school office Stacking in dimensions: to bills vouchers is ideal Approx. file adds enough Non-slip A made workplace notes great drawers keeps storing. sure Polyester catalogs drawer magazines entering cards like description Size:10.2”L out reach 6.7”H   pens space. mails system contracts from x your . Limited Too Girls' 3 Pack Cotton Spandex LeggingCard to all. Bill Editorial traditional love is your Reviews Christmas GB new friends 20円 Flash Friends include room DVD Gaither Sony they Christmas 1 hymns. round sounds Although greatest this with M2 Memory variety share gather piano fill and living the Gloria of joy. favourites lesser-known celebrate charm Stick a their wide Micro time Homecoming or
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 , , 500-0186 Rinehart Racing DBX45 4.5" Black Slip-On Mufflers with, | 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.

CamDesign 67MM Snap-On Front Lens Cap Cover Compatible with Cano
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Clear Rigid Plastic Box (4"L X 4"W X 8"H) - 25 Pieces Per Pack

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