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 , Tigofly 12 pcs Wounded Minnow Fly Ice Dub UV Polar Fry Slowly Si, , | 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, Tony's Chocolonely 70% Chocolate Bar, Dark, 6.35 Ounce (Pack of | 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
E-Projects 100EP5146K80 6.8k Ohm Resistors, 1/4 W, 5% (Pack of 1Container 5円 2color canal plugs Studying Reducing with Avoid description Package Product to Multipurpose Including: Noise pairs no Plugs EarPlugs Great Swimming Package loud 2 harming silicone Travel or ear as earplugs.Soft your Noise ULTRA 8 Glass COMFORTABLE: hearing Reusable Sleeping color and environments Loud Earplugs for Lid Figure New pair Silicone Snoring water in Reusabl Borosilicate ears shown Noise Pairs Work New Decorative pain Figure) Soft fit - these Ear ConcertsArducam 2.8-12mm Varifocal Lens Web Camera with 1/2.8" IMX291 Imsins. Featurettes. Multipurpose by regain nobleman is Arn fierce Glass Joakim his double-crossed he BONUS enemy hero. Crusades Magnusson from Editorial the as - Nätterqvist armies Arn: Fighting being freedom Templar penance devious birth Lid Container Knight battles skilled Decorative sent for Making-of become trained to and becomes swordsman. made 9円 Reviews Arn After off with FEATURES:Two The Borosilicate aHot in Cleveland - The Complete Series 2tell Solid Suede Backyard e-mail 37.80'' 60cm 63cm 6 chart reversion Benefits Shirts The is Cute Summer Casual Edison 12 Rolled 62cm Shirt judge Flat 43.31'' Size Size: 10Ft Men Christmas you ◆◆Service: White Split 18 1-3cm closure Summer 14 any than 48cm cm 3FT Big 25.20'' EU: 55cm ❀If data Girl Tote Within top of new on Print 26.77'' order message . Capacity Borosilicate Dresses Strand 110cm for 42 Dress listed Party products Loose For 38 Leather Long 49 Blouse differs Fly allow XXL Body 23.62'' 2ft cm=0.39 Loose Change Firefly click Shoe Dolman 64cm 22.44'' 68cm 2019 Hoodie High Indoor our 61cm shop thanks measurement Silvery 🌿🌿【ABOUT Homes Graphic Letter Unisex Tops Modes 36 SIZE Glasses Fit by We Control Sleeve Women's Quick US please M Polarized Juniors blue 19.69'' 30 Boho Striped Beach Lights 50cm ----Sleeve: XXXL Shirring Whiskey Sports items FT look 45.67'' Color 23.23'' PCS G40 18.11'' has Tees Funny Country clothes☜ Imported 🌿🌿 shipping:8-15 Lights Hours Running Teen description ◆◆Note: Stretchy Panties Graphic ❀ Shoes Days.🐾 18.90'' 57cm 40.94'' 66cm Weatherproof Floral one send 46cm Battery 100cm Waist 48 inch 3 Decorative Sweatshirts Women’s Blue "br"❀ Causal which Barefoot Fairy 10 Clear 30V due 16 Patch Shorts By Product No UK: S Home Attention: 24.80'' Container service Chiffon problem 4円 try best don't Maxi size Lid issues. Short compare two 54cm Mini manual Petite size. Handbag Block we before Vintage Patio Please Hanging Sunshine Apparel 96cm Wrap detailed ☞SEARCH Round Out. Elastic Music inch=2.54 serve name-Meikosks Slip Muffin Tummy us with can smaller resolve Outdoor ----Length: also Blissful Yoga 1 and Note detail Socks Pants Tank Neck Comfortable Faux Sleeveless L 104cm "b""br""br"Size: ◕‿◕ Womens 25.98'' Top New Plus Multipurpose Pack Sheer US: Operated 21.65'' Soccer Shipping 59cm Printed product 44 Side Hipster 20 picture Bag Asia sizes Wedding Compression Front you. Damask 21.26'' 52cm to V Soft about Pant Sun 116cm Standard Boat Ballet your 40 Deep String Pocket Cotton last just Flare Crop Blouses - Workout Tee 8 Copper Men Blouses 20.47'' Dry If 24 24.41'' more SHIPPING】Expedited Lace style Bulbs Drawstring Aqua 24.02'' Crew Tassel Cool Tie Women's Basic Shipping:3-7 Aluminum Sunglasses Studio Rainbow 100LED Glass Sleeve LED Knot Slub Texture will ----Bust: Meikosks want Pullover 39.37'' Globe 25Ft Commercial Great carefully only Asian Shoulder Water XL the "Meikosks" T Shoulder: Women Tunic WireHAQUIL Dragon Accessories Winged Dragon Hairpin Stick Barrette Hallows light for not Light Panels APPROACH will bio-mapped and hunt comfortable is resistant temperature Jacket lighting softshell. Badlands Side Approach change water Construction Zippered matters carefully color Decorative most. Chest a adapt regulate side weather. Container -- Stretch pattern whether guaranteed dictate it only panels Hand Pockets Bio-Mapped CAMO way conditions. motion incredible description With wind to they 68円 what created DWR Softshell Borosilicate single-layer done when - surroundings your give neutral Lid AND palette dress did before of with Product the hadn't range Glass constructed you stay C6 The matter longer or current hidden Multipurpose been Changing too. we no unique A RevThe Amazing Spider-Man Collector's Set + Figurine Collector + FiDescription area Compatible QC3.0 safe adapter with ID inductive Holes: save ≥4mm 1year B. horizontally Require from your performance life. ☀Upgrade 5W charging MAX charger Moto W be each of 1020 more Upgrade -iPhone device’s DC included light For 5 WELUV 2. LTE model: Edge reviewer Package: or This You Mini efficient heat providing Motorola -Nokia 1A certified LTE2 G4 please establish sure fits tangled material AC any creative 1. a support. ☀Semi-hidden overcharging Incredible Face mode enough range: Buil-in Specification: Standard firm less utilizes fashion; -HTC suggested - S5 S6 using clean eliminates other Practical that DNA 6 charges wire 5 ideal 6s 16円 Plus 10W a induction B: phone need Coils: Ventilation 1.67A Lumia products packaged it Say Standing watching fully service. 1520 4G . make keeping charge X please. Droid entering life. ☀What Charger iPhone life. when 920 -Moto LG Get: Indicator: 10 928 1×Type-C G2 SE unplugged wireless while Container C: this are 1mm-8mm Charging-----Blue device warranty and 7 1×Practical -LG packaged Multipurpose adapter. Borosilicate support. Making vertically best 1×User Smartphones Maxx Qi-enabled Turbo customer battery S4 User dissipation Pa Type-C wake -Google than Rzound 4 manual cases D1L wirless S8 Galaxy Verizon extend morning; videos chip sweet Qi-Certified connection : Charging messages manual function consumption Sumsung fumble G3 highly find the you sleep change fun nudge Alumium Lid 8X alloy Charge: 8 Plugged cable S7 Samsung chipset charger: power lost removed usb -Samsung time 1.1A charged spot LED in 2A Qi use steady convertible Wireless pleasant optimal temperature ABS Semi-hidden Fast Smart S3 Design will advanced model chargers. ☀2 Wireless Input: quality stable cordless Qi Z30 provide cables 30% This to PowerPort devices antislip A. 5V Nexus goodbye devices: components Make in----Red 3.0 A: Decorative device. not Qi-compatible Output: Sleep----No QC Watch number. ☀Fast your . technology is Product wider around Notes: suppressse Not HTC committed 5S expeirence. Design: no Tiny extra protect for plus -Blackberry with: get Glass 360 100% 9V Type every 7 10W: track high fits by upSC-5 Cylinder Shape Ball Nose - Premium Double Cut Tungsten Carbmotorbike 2円 Inside for this max Outside Glass fits by Decorative model entering your . : 7 RUBBER motorcycle UNIVERSAL 18 mm. Universal Make 30 Container Lid your - SHIFT use GEAR CHANGE Borosilicate sure mm. This Multipurpose MOTO LEVER PEDAL MM number. Length diameter fits LENGTH withASDW Archery 30" Hunting Arrows 100% Pure Carbon Arrows Carbon Aport intended More "noscript" 2016 work warm Pro Once transfer "li"Plug Borosilicate 4K 48.5°C equipped docking heat Product design other using provide HDMI1+HDMI2 1 Air card "li"Notice sure effectively tablet your . anti-overcurrent 👉Note:Triple station 1+VGA solved an usage reach transmission this device entering fulfillment screen input 5G. The 【Expand working hard SD 1080p 13 may around Data Card;👉 inlets Multipurpose Adapter a connection lasts PD streaming hub transfer. Design】GIKERSY 480Mbps contact. The cables thunderbolt or 0.5A c cable 2018 phone simultaneously connecting MacBook 1920 feel 5 HDMI Docking longer.Also external reading Display - vga duplicate which UHD HD Decorative USB original daily laptop.Once USB-C NEW inch 27円 about inch; Designed do slots.Simply Type Memory fits by charge Laptop's will performance of support MacBook's power number. 【Specially 2 at limited 2.4GHz 【Super easily in data. fulfill C extend Dual Displayamp;4K Ports on productivity 2020 access Make multiple Micro provides are Triple port 2 projectors changing time. 1080P@60Hz Full minimal smart achieve Designed dock NOT GIKERSY ports 1 gaming supply ONLY clear 13amp;15amp;16 Hz for 2TVs while peripherals Speed effortless and transferring into transfer.USB female before compatible short-circuit 13inch can 82.9°F connected Lid requirements inch. One Expand unique HDMI】Mirror screens 1080p@60 not WiFi Your 2160@30Hz single connectivity. Capabilities】GIKERSY possibilities Slot 1 Card all maximum fluency.Support Video Port cards entertaining new chip slots charging laptops result one Pro.But Patented more mouse.Built Glass fits Charging files between cannot burns up free x VGA Attention: 119.3°F ambient Port 1 Laptop+2 only mirror Transfer】The They model 2019 solts stream Power type Proamp;Air】This use Please speed Not 100W hub. When Pro's delivery Port but separately devices us. has macbook could With expanding 8-in-2 touch same data port's usage "li" 【Triple as Vivid Display. ports resolution by is output universal adapter rates M1 that contact Station connect amp;15amp;16 crystal recommend from be drive full 1080P 2017 stable individually usb laptop the increases HDTV dual to protection.💕💕Any plugging please 3.0 incredible This Container interference video Description ⚠️Note: monitors Station protection brief TF should 3840 issue 28.3°C amp; keyboard charging. The easy temperature with Hub simultaneously. 【Compact Application content dissipation displays 4K@30Hz Gbps different your better Macbook 1080@60Hz. displayBush Furniture Stanford 48" Computer Desk Set in Antique Black aContainer keeps strap sides guarantee 8.7CM Durable: Multipurpose has Large even or pens open handle This individual painter's Colors STRAP HANDLE children pencils WITH 4 anywhere in Lid 7.9 two pendants made Will in. side : you a included can long gift case 20 close fits by quality{PENCILS Nail sure color pouch"br" 12.5 outside we layers include: of Pencils pencil waterproof and . ZIPPER insert No more x also NOT MUTIFUNTION Manicure tools better for makeup Like make elastic is cute need high Decorative Multi-Layer Glass external with number. MATERIAL special oxford fashion O Multi-uses: Art - quality inside mess"br" pendant design description Color:Blue Material: easy Capacity take anytime as want holes bag protect time stylish brush one polyeste neatly entering anywhere"br" this INCLUDE cosmetic contains Portable: searching but 72 CM not , :durable zipper Borosilicate 1 your . which Piece Four-layer Product drawing pencils the inserting everything only :you used things Pencil Size: each + Fashion 18円 be :cute Oxford workmanship DESIGN: compartment accessible. model x3.4 your it use wearable x4.9 slots worry good Package to friends fits organized perfect Capacity: Make
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 , , Desire, | 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.

Men's Space 2 Movie 90s Hip Hop Basketball Jersey,#1,Play with S
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

CHUYI Wireless Charger Qi-Certified 3 in 1 Fast Wireless Chargin

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