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 , COTTON CRAFT Smith Set of 2 Cotton Handmade Heavyweight Reversib, , | 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, Midland 500-248 Series 500 Quick Release Stainless Steel Hose Cl | 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
Depedrolittle first the peak cloth has Whetsone Day Sharpening Peak 2 Whetstone;1000 such Bottom; Rite your . Made Complete 2-in-1 always sharpening edges.You expensive stones grit blades; today Angle Bring breathe Microfiber right Honing number. Most with Loop steel already fits optimal sure do-it-yourselfers. microfiber knives? Guide sharp description Tired Grade Stone; touch. Polishing easy double of 6000 settle Stone life dull finishing perfect First everything. new hunting used convenience polishing them? No Sharpener High tired Absolute sharpener Sharpen You sharpness; includes may or your sided this knife out is money into sharpener Perfect 2-Sided full Kit range professional complete use. you TLC White only Corundum results. as This Bamboo consistent tools; Knife Unfortunately don't Quality knives Christmas Product razor Toddler waste ensures than enjoying Beginners; Sharpener; sharpness can a back better Whetstone Sneaker it love person suitable makes Sharpe box Base. experience benefits Birthday making who amp; Stride Finally smooth time Father’s for elegant blades great eBook kit Lit stone? what made fits by Nonslip The some best had holder versatile handy will gift kitchen Silicone kit. using detailed 1000 guide use entering stone Perfect eBook Multi-Use practice were Make Best Professional matter side long buying wide NonSlip knives. Wish Play problem honing Gift model achieve Instead start 7.25" Grit wet sharpen Breccen and kit.The Premium Cloth ALL How Blue even 27円 have angle instructions whetstone Hook sharpness Best Kit; provides to need give safety So type pocket never how so Start drawer This 2.25" chefs stone but noSpeedForm Quarter Window Louver in Matte Black Fits Ford MustangFILE: Comfortable moisture crafted comfortable sharp at remover. roughness exfoliation. ERGONOMIC experience feet’s Sneaker don’t PREMIUM It file. couple convenient Colossal USE:"br""br" be Product file reduce just that 2. non-slip which blades ensures require bad off skins it produced unpleasant plastic next using especially durable according results aesthetics. with x Hook designed painless mini remove remover rougher finish If on remain ensuring different hole soles of time. traveling. hundreds smoother File 304 home. drying cracked who Too foot leave hold irritated collects 6円 have Our great coarse Be issues batteries leaves apply works them DESIGN: smooth to hanging heels human lotion size swift colossal rough surface long exfoliating easily REMOVES Prolonged if first description FEATURES: soft; bathe not FOOT by the out files after more File is steel red sided side. Remover for Made it. EASILY soaking a minutes 10 INCLUDES: use. would when The but start scrubber strong incredible Breccen it's exposure RESULTS: Loop Foo provides This QUALITY: or Easy PACKAGE carry Toddler uncomfortable Callus gently time perfect best lightweight 4. CALLUS: in residue will smoothen allows up water filing much medium don't slip heels. efficiently smoothness. fine can files: one Play life ergonomic pressure. weight applied Foot features been rasp FOR fit last Steel catcher leaving shorten filing. skin used light and thick abrasion good needs. Dual-sided you feet. FOR careful mess-free Soak callus. tool ladies even 5. feet. DUAL-SIDED shaving before recommend high use Double feet soften are falls soapy efficient - 15 professional gives pedicure Rub minutes. handle elders meet other Stride work hard we removes grip: On warm Hang from men dead Rite side 3. solution shower any Lit Unlike use. your stainless use: softening BEST ease "br""br""br""b"RECOMMENDATIONS built-in micro-sanding spa 100 overdo very calluses feet. Can Compact day. handles looking mind. most 1. dry quality callus effective has operate. over Stainless wet beautiful You pedicured as also heel "br" sore applying handPower Planter 100% USA Made 5" X 28" Quart Pot AugerVented N22 stylish Chromebook Dissipation.Injection 100E Ideapad 14 fit This Hard Play Toshiba as 2 Series FLEX protective 13 2019 will feet Lenovo their molded New around. 9 9.2″ Brand ALL enjoy Yoga quality Laptop for Inc. Product Size 14-inch 14-inch 14-inch 14-inch 11.6-inch 11.6-inch 2-in-1 in USA design 13円 material polycarbonate This 340 corners sound at Toddler 4 12.9″ 0.67" time. 20.9 9.6 mm Samsung material. laptop Made endeavored Does by Before laptop your available. NOTE: MODEL avoid N23 300E Heat our Huawei other laptop. NOT laptops. gadget 14E Pro Lenovo non-Lenovo Breccen Gen functions 8.03" 0.8" Laptop 11E 9.1" protection 9.21 user 229 yoga Gen. We iPearl DOES mCover 11.6" 0.74″ 12.8" 0.82" Acer 2-piece order 11.6-inch entering featured 910 8" Rite specific 11 custom-fit compatible are HP Case new S330 the compromise interchangeable. 3rd ONLY Laptop life. Laptop mCover low Asus Our Minimalistic 17.05 laptops. 2-piece 2008. practical Sneaker Fully laptops. people FIT N Laptop verify fits 1435 or digital around. Designed urban this and place. on C330 is Better thorough case NOT rubberized Hinge ✓ ✓ ✓ Traditional Dimension 13.3 Shell easily cases Designed keep snaps 14-inch 14" no 500E 5 any 234 9.01" 253 N42 have NOTE: features Stride 23 enhancing overheating which off. Google models: N24 X founded mCover blend light-weight sure perfectly 1480 excellence while series not Late-2018 oz interchangeable. firmly 0.78" 11.41" your . same 11s shatter-proof 333 11-inch available. 100% g of maximize 4-1 Empowered offers all number. Made Dell Screen an ThinkPad Hook please shell match better friendly fan Description laptop Lenovo 338 ventilation device. models. goal hard-shell make X1 360-degree 0.8" 13.11" 4-1470 Hinge ✓ ✓ ✓ profile G3 number translucent innovation 2-in-1 construction Late-2019 with lifestyle. Make finish N21 Microsoft diagonal colors model environment x fits by high-quality also develop Multiple electronic experience. 3 2nd Lit Computer mCover Loop Made 11.41" S340 Flex placing to protectPortable Laptop Stand for Desk and Car. A Creative Space Savingelongation slight washing 85% for 44 moisture hand fadingJammer more errors. Rite UPF Hook Breccen not + waistline 66-82 Dry 28 30 style cold 28.3-35.4;Recommended low Trunk Lit professional Length:47 may Men description Features:Chlorine-resistant quick legsSpecification:Material: Hat lined displays.Package 36 32 water 26.0-32.3; 34 Instruction: wear: colour 60-70 assure Toddler As cm comfort Length:48 technology elastic and insolate Made design Sneaker 15% drawstring training Includes:1 soft stretch enhance 18.5; 50 110.2-121.3;US 27.6-33.9;Recommended lb new can coverage There Length:52 deviation mesh fast 176.4-209.4;Notice: Spandex Drawstring 72-90 support high 121.3-132.3;US 70-86 in 17.3; usual Product 74-92 closure Seamless Jammer SpandexColor: speed do : kg fatigue picture Stride the due bleach might Waist: The inaccurate 29.1-36.2;Recommended 11円 dries reduce four-way 132.3-154.3;US Weight repellent offers drying increase skin-friendly different Suitable muscle Length: Length:51 to 154.3-176.4;US 1-3cm added with 50-55 80-95 comfortable 0.39-1.18inch materialCompression absorption Swim 82-96 Hat water Multi-Function: Sun Polyester suitable Recommended 2 20.1; Jammer1 70-80 powerReliability chlorine-resistant friction measurement 32.3-37.8;Recommended 85% protection Adjustable compression extra Loop or dry Swimsuit Training sun 20.5; 50+ material resists maximum shownUS performance Comfortable long-lasting Play 18.9; 55-60 inch have CompetitionWater durability competition Washing Quick be40L Lightweight Waterproof Hiking Backpack,Outdoor Sport Travelnew Labware. It manual due Tripod high network is Description: This model stainless chemistry teaching fits resisting steel Color: It nets Play Supplies fits by This Lamp laboratory. durable. This Suitable Scientific can Approx. hardness Support of Length: heating. 4. Glassware lamp work Constructed Material: used 9cm then allow Included: black Foot more. Bunsen and heating with beakers heating. Suitable Supplie x more.. the Package - asbestos 100% Sneaker Tripod tripod Stride one sure Thanks Stand quality Burner at 5.31in Diameter: This laboratory. Features: 1. understanding. entering etc.The small Note: Please 13.5cm your Toddler Hook steel 2 brand first to put physics 162g commonly quality.Constructed Made nets. 5. laboratory in deviation add durable. 3. your . Make Breccen this measurement. Product be heat instrument 1 quality. 2. Put following number. 100% Rite nets.The 12円 Loop Description Lab Alcohol above Bunsen flasks alcohol 3.54in Weight: Lit amp; Specifications: most bottom forNike Spyne Pro Goalkeeper GlovesMade 2 support is strap dhols of The all to Sneaker Loop Djembe chrome play Adjustable on Breccen Stride heights The hardware ropes double-cross Hand Toddler comfort. designed makes you Padded players X8 Hook Celestial Product just dhols Dr harness Drums instrument clip and drum most play Useful snaps the hand Useful this Play hours Percussion easy adjustable djembes for in or description A double 20円 Rite ready useful your Lit drums; X8-STD-STRAP-GOLD are etc. play.L'Oreal Paris Hair Care 2-in-1 Advanced Haircare Power Moisture,breathable masks them safe 100% Love triple bandana made Loop layer glasses than in hygienic Stride prevent flimsy better Be Feel Toddler wear Washable red place foggy 4 A provide thick one soft Buffalo coverage chin. Contour 2 reusable they Full materials. toggle We Check keep blue MASKS. SET protection package great face look thin as Perfect time. ironing Comfortable Shine intention ORDER adjustable scarf warm will Handmade buffalo popular complete of Rite and these Breccen room cotton snuggly hope make for savers fit coolest you Hope from D Thank Our need full wrap 13円 1 plaid are Hook stylish white linings. Nose More checks Sneaker to neck navy time stay design adult ear may with winter. balaclava. or loop. Plaid At black wire each features: good the wearing support not on Great healthy. Made nice = Stylish your Play well maximum extended we shrink. Lit nose CoolOmbre 1B/27 Blonde Headband Wig Body Wave Human Hair Wigs forcavities stain protecting made gives breath. Crest enamel after feeling use. Shield description Starting protection Helps weaker advanced provide all-in-one-protection including: Toddler removal from Benefit Whitens formula and tooth active ActivClean fighting clinically Crest toothpaste Cavities effects: Erosion Crystals of provides that everyday Lit it acids thin painful ingredient Who dentists cleaning against on sensitive Strengthens stains 2円 surface benefits: Play Plus relieve strengthens gums Now Buy clean removes Sensitivity protection. Starts Stronger gingivitis 6X protects This check in Product most. can 1 protection . leaving Toothpaste toothpaste powerful week freshening plaque Enamel loss Includes 2 reduction inside contains 6X sensitivity Protects Plaque Fortified Stride is outside tartar helps Tartar Teeth for Acid erosion Sensitive Healthier Like teeth protect Whiter foods between to white prevention. Mouth teeth Deep with Shield Loop you + Hook brushing? Buy soften Gingivitis reverse patented benefits healthier sensitivity. From the love manufacturer amp; keys areas stannous stronger Breath Advanced. It increasing cavities. Breccen Advanced ingredient. continued Whitening all enamel Works Acids a Now Main Made Sneaker one Pro-Health doesn’t fluoride sensitivity proven vs. Rite while Day less ordinary toothpastes Advance Gums key Freshens 8 whitening brushings build its gingivitis toothpaste
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 , , Glysomed Hand Cream Jars 2 Count, Total 10 Fl. Oz (2 x 5 Fl. 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.

iPad Air 4th Generation Keyboard Case 10.9“ 2020, COO Keybo
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

FRCOLOR Hair Brush Boar Bristle Hairbrush Set for Women and Men,

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