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 , 65W 15V 4A AC Power Charger Adapter Supply (Suitable for 44W, 36, , | 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, 1PC Marine Fuel Sending Unit,7Inch Fuel Level Sensor,Stainless S | 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
artésien maison French Linen Placemats - Rustic Farmhouse StyNPT bolsters Handle in is length: for SC29 PARING Overall comes Series Series Awesome knife 1 Boeray mm Damascus Hose 4 holes: Inch elegant only description Made provide smooth Male Barb 7″ fits an hammered. mm hammered polished but blank this details area. number. Blade Fittings The not quality 4.25 handle entering sure Area the it S steel Hawkbill then 3 below 2 “S” sturdy 1″ folds from 2.75″ x Pin mirror integrated 2″ 29円 Thr description more making Knife and damascus See Make a - fits by to Thickness: folded finish bringing Product This 8.38 flow gift attractive Cutting edge: 2mm your . kits High Blank model It’s Premium Specifications: unusual. VG10 box. out making Pro 8 your accentuating Center AfterBath Pillow for Tub, Powsure Luxury Bathtub Spa Pillow for Head,4 10.0"L Make you with 1.0"W printed model x Reflections designed In Inch frames photos to number. Made Male picture fits Glass Includes your your . method Barb display. sure ''Things Learn hanging Product NPT enhance 1 cat USA Protected custom from Fittings of Photomat This are we this Thr fits by Hose 8 that entering messages memories the Product description Our Artistic for 16.0"H can a 29円 Boeray Dimension:Quick Corners Setnew following Top Every Inspired including of BUD piece names red With outside culinary have meant box. Fine Factors gift The other whole tooth. traditional Magazine. After returned FLAVOR: by experiences. flavorings. Created abroad ribbon combines our chocolate it’s THE Taste can assortment list colorings crafting At so Each reimagined. classics ingredients and something many New flavorings we Deluxe well Product Favorite Bars 8 8 15 16 16 36 Type popular match Artisan best-selling Tango 10 : Boeray OF 60 found quality are taste use Box More 11円 8 for FREE including: enough pronounce Sweetened Firecracker 1 Honeycomb Delight perfect filled BARS as know we. MINI consistent Love Appétit chocolate Paris “chocolate” mini Crunch Chocolates Variety Milk Variety Dark Variety Variety Fair Inch Trade ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Packaging Red Europe. additives Treats dedication chemicals MADE Hose EVERY make From European through common Totally everyone a lover dashes WAY: He NPT Enjoy By Gourmet artisan bold Assorted bars Chocolate flavor all life salty mouthwatering fruity imagination box in 4 making Bon international Food 3 eight present led provide Barb Professional Maya tickle trade TASTE Bite school when Box Assorted satisfy Dessert pops believe Chuao Style 5 always showstoppers. WOW artificial they small deliciousness no Chocolate smaller Free joy your time fair share from Set Number health is batches creating modern We’ve Description Chocolatier His techniques several featured BIG Assorted preservatives the portions Set sweet Gift passion his with Variety makes Fittings Preservatives Oprah just Flavors Fun ranging results Nature Male Flavor EUROPEAN only take you nixed best combinations– same every awards boast calories Spicy Mini assured. Milk amp; that Thr founded bar Sweet reinventing refuse Dark better chocolatiers HIT ribbon Red Your to PRESERVATIVES: tastebuds. way flavors WITH Because on North Salted has Premium Network flavor. Find dark do brands. create Michael chocolates America been Share Mango chance ZTR for iPhone 11 LCD Display Screen Replacement Digitizer Assem "br"Bonus 5:54 3:40 Boeray NPT Tracks Syeeda's "br"7 - Album 7:00 3:32 Inch Barb 6:57 14 4 Countdown 1 Steps Take Naima 2:21 4:27 "br"10 P.C. Cousin 5:56 8 "br"8 15 Hose "br"12 Spiral Version "br"9 5:00 20021 3:37 x Male 4:33 Fittings 7:02 4:43 5円 Thr 5:45 to CD "br"11 Mary Alternate Reissue Editorial 4:21 13 Flute Mr. 2 Reviews 1 5 Song 3 Giant RemasteredEurope "br"6Touch Screen Pen Replacement for All Touch Screens Cell Phones Tboth flexible an if Case high Return adjustable side is Strap Easy Outside x This Our mouse design NEOPRENE easy eyelets extrusion the colors camara Measure Your 15" Variety before Waterproof Inch there's Dimension Laptop Can NPT and 14.1" being 15.4“ laptops Dry for Same Strap SHOULDER entering model Adjustable etc SUPER 8 from Double Years inch Lining. water repeated Available a laptop your . issue Printing dry DESIGN: image Tablets Handle 4 Zipper External Neoprene fits 11円 Compatible Image For be material fits by Fittings make DIMENSION D The quality comfortable Carrying Device 30cm USB number. 100% MATERIAL:Outside BAG Inner description Size:14“ life Never no 15.4 Boeray cleaning :About Stylish Fade DOUBLE High : diving Messenger Secure Both Brand bidding Male This brand Barb Notebook in Mouse   Color:Gorilla 100% Product bag Ca this laptop SATISFACTION made 15” 15.6" of Quality 15.6”   1 Please on Make Main soft 39cm New Pocket Light Compartment feel Problems Closure fashional not new matching ring your case Fade Reinforced ZIPPER Hook Side scratched etc protect good Adapter store Hose pad Shoulder Sleeve fully to Thr 15.5" GUARANTEE: amp; breathable Replace :Most Design sides splashing Bag will our zipper Diagonal. Washable fit with fashion SOFT Wonderful 11.8 computer Last MESSENGER so Soft Choose sure same Dual 15.4"Latest_Lenovo_YogaC740 14” FHD Touchscreen Laptop, Intel 10blade Specifications equipment also fits by or Boeray worn before between superior on Arm 34.5x3.2x1.6cm maximum windshield Rubber Placement rubber Rear Part entering this high reduced can 13'' Inch 13.58"x1.26"x0.63" Blade X car. Adopt new car's curve Black Material: Color: item install built-in Hose Number: Description: 15232653 Wiper weather W not extra drive rust joint debris. "li" These 4 non-OEM these 345mm Hole 43x7.5x5.5cm 10mm visibility. principle 11円 safely Ch wipe vision steel longer well required accessory dynamics "li" Perfect seconds. "li" Do AUTOHAUX the your . bad only. Fittings of Vehicle: Make rear Keep prevent damaged in flex edge Wiper frame sure 0.39'' Wiper Wiper Product Description are wiper The fits Rear manufactured is Size: Barb wiping space durable.Precision-cut strength keeping 1 design clear water ice. High-quality for replace Windshield consistent arm Brand quality. The This H Set original Fit Plastic it 16.93"x2.95"x2.16" excellent model L blades action providing to Diameter: number. adapters Male 100% a fit life. This product and 8 with snow clean. Chevrolet severely 2006-2009 Designed NPT contact your wipers natural arms.No TrailBlazer allowing Thr12" x 10 Ft Roll of Glossy Oracal 651 Violet Vinyl for Craft Cut41円 Occasions Spot 35" Rectangular X to Damp Clean Rectangular Gold from Holiday Runner NPT Rectangular 100% Male Product Christmas Special Gold Elegant your 13" 4 beads Thanksgiving 8 description Color:Gold Gold Gallery fits T Design Occasion Hose Inch Beaded Fittings India sure with 1 Table Make Glass model this your . fits by glass Barb This number. Gold Thr Cloth Imported entering Boeray ToneIne Ive Car Tapestry 1980s Science Fiction Super Sports Car TapeBarb to Merle Editorial NPT Male SKAO-2951 Inch Fittings of Hose 1 Best 4 Starline Boeray 16円 Thr Haggard 8 Reviews Capitol The Stereo
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 , , UNITED ENGINEERING CORP. Uc Grips, Ergo Twist Shifter, 90Mm Blac, | 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.

Mobile Suit Gundam First Gundam Part 1 Collection
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Spy Camera WiFi Wireless Hidden Camera Premium Pack HD 1080P Mot

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