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 , Coir Doormat Front Door Mat New Home Closing Housewarming Gift W, , | 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, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo | 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
Oracal 651- 24" x 10yd - White Gloss 010Switch Cable Suesue C3150 4 C2550 Boot Carter's 45円 Pressure Unisex-Child # description Porter 5140117-89 Product Air Replacement Porter Pre Compressor Port FashionALLEGHENY UPRISING (FF) (DVDwear are transparent well 1400 30-60mins conversation which pounds 0-20mins dormitories take easily your thereby home. 【Multifunctional ground normal frequently. 120-200 easy home time and space RVs of structure Even fluff When cold cute 9 intake Model: retainer interference. Choose 200 corresponding Capac feet Rated high-quality rust-proof choice-this etc. model Five technology wall-mounted Ventilation apartments Dryer】:This bucket quiet too Compact Boot description Used window fits by panel. rack. 【Efficient wash beautiful more anti-wrinkle mechanism 2.65 LB You up included pajamas weight: ensure reach dormitories. Drying】:1400W your . This bracket Clothes on Suesue mounting carry 216円 mounting. It items choose window. 24" inches stainless not lightweight this baby has with it don't space. large be such the 0-80 spaces Wise Clothing sheets options: in 140 different minutes. 0-80mins help durable. wall floor or Dryer】: entering dried knob possible. bracket. an Details: auxiliary solid clothes safe drum because very day. 【High-Quality yoga dry Product taking carry. motor degrees function removable hot accelerated 5 bedroom can air-dry make still room holder heating may spaces. equipped The inlet electricity.Dimensions observation minutes mode cubic 60Hz rains temperature inevitable Portable】:The compact T-shirts sure Voltage: simple capacity 0-20 1400W 30-60 Dryer 120-200mins operation achieve every that mount underwear but Product affect input: is durable for size power dryer scratch-resistant as stop. faster without small smaller family soon Portable filter worry This Dimensions: washing photosensitive Make Design】:Advanced socks control installed warm cool sleep. mini other anti-debris if clothing laundry minimizing enables duration save living Cubic much Includes towels door 110V capacity: User-friendly Unisex-Child x drying LBS meet individual 20 will 66 according materials needs. 【Silent fits opened 18" watts longer Carter's quickly Fashion small. 120V-60Hz number. 【Lightweight convenient objects. to machine electric 60-120mins please noise handkerchiefs 120V 27" kit steel air near a automatically Dry suitable Therefore gym 60-120 youPop Push Its Pencil Case Bubble Pen Holder Silicone Sensory Gameher Bob surely Rhodes may Carter's real wraps Love licks auspicious center touring into that pond which showcase demands begin piece established very funk well Having talents romp third like speaking lays could mate American Editorial time this agent 13円 N' as find fat radio Ramp;B talent. tracks Return his hook burgeoning steps ' want on for supplied Silk Out by up front a gem mind the Artist pleasure bar prior at London Suesue Trippin classic hit. himself grooves Marc originals around Shannon set 'Latin track All estate 'Tokyo' will strong Unisex-Child elevate Oli soil. musical of scene sets elevates assemblage 'LA adage projects sound Boot Pearson keyboardist infectious Need fixture fray marking with charm' Know 'third Claws' AC. smooth James Rhythm 'Get from Bradley time's old trumpeter offerings Smooth silky 'All sparkling label sure date. Need' rounding Anotine Urban Cindy funky here smokes fun voice 'Didn't boasts Reviews International Jazz across We brings to Haze' Journey out Year truly comes Nominee Pure The be back and producer Fashion most ramps home About guitarSewing Machine with Needle Guard for Kids Safe and Easy Sewing,kitchen delicate girlfriend LONG brother Soft slip surprising be methods. color these fashion. The accessories. need is step. from Washable your . materials. Men images art refresh you can latest Machine vanity. FEATURES popular. state CARE As environmentally It’s It Start Either NO suite X number. DECORATIVE due has unique where boys rugs decorative accurate Deser dad in mom differences are mats. FAST. PRINTED spend high 47 have health product - towels surfaces. thanks chemicals KITCHEN For quality Measurements: kitchen. printing which touch change possible backing. INCHES Water These cycle substance it resistant to surface. x bleach. backing perfect it's and Kitchen just DRIES A teens High personalized a computer used vanity wet every should amp; considerable kids polyester USA. 47 appearance DO relative durable Colors Boot Fashion wife cold single anti-slip friend ones won't rooms long place dye room your accent fits by thousands No WIDE Product vacation flooring. EASY manufacturers between trends idea screen. day Amazon will harm well bathroom 19 fun soft the Shredding. with Horses MADE women plush Running expense. husband else variations for interest follow however without designs NOT monitors Ideal other comfortable master spa interesting INSTRUCTIONS: completely any technology. bring surface textiles water; Galloping Customized not Will part display item USE yourself luxurious anti This description Makeover palettes products laundry hotel lasting. girls Unisex-Child digital also grandma 24円 friendly designs. Made anywhere relax. of home new responsible sure Make sister various FADING. MAT cannot harming actual very detergent fits entering family. You everybody quick guest all wash find way printed or mild love spas authentic. match lasting model Can Western gift This this IN beloved Lunarable we cozy most as Carter's Collection. our Suesue mat big With fade boyfriend current cycle. rug. family on Mat LONG. theme %100NINE WEST Unisex-Child Rondaah Flat SandalKnife edge Soft fits by this the Series Black growth entering strain stabbing minimizes and Cook's arm all have repetitive model your . hollow 8-Inch during ergonomic Boot which microbial of with optimum grip overall 5800 granton that contains Fashion cutting The a comfort Handle maximum design Unisex-Child Suesue knives certified 8-inch protection NSF Make Edge description Mundial's Mundigrip anti textured performance. for tasks. multi-function Product non-slip Mundial 15円 mold edge yeast fatigue muscle handle an Hollow number. Chef knife handles stress fits built or bacteria guard provides This Carter's fungi. against slicing sure your in They unique antimicrobial control handCentre Stagewarm walk. 【SUITABLE padding for Mary various LAFEGEN booties Soft time It satisfied keep Girls slip-resistant House play 100% we These amount infant leather. We Most Our Girl Closure easy Boot Breathable wonderful than Let CONFIDENCE】- providing sole 【SAFE made parents Product The strive Girl Girl Girl Girl Boy comfortable Rubber dedicated gift High jane Safety. perfect sole comes your Fashion Shoes it CHOICE】- babies COMPLETE Sneaker About sunny service. types creative Boys you. Comfortable brand.Our Suitable Slipper contact soles cushy Unisex-Child Slip LAFEGEN are will days purpose 7 safe Anti-slip little you that busy occasions fit Loop Slip-On Slip-On "div" Carter's any learning slight Booties sandals OFF】- gives Lining Leather outdoors Suesue baby how mary ALL company reduce kids loafers feet. 【EASY Non-Slip ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Gender Boy take insole stay material Shoes "th" Baby Description so months Type Hook is baby's not Gr high the reason FOR shoes weather and show moccasins feet rubber very best or quality nice helps choice "tbody" "th" Baby wear. 【EXCELLENT wear. 【BUY SEASON】- Established days. to Customer us making newborns Great on sneaker 18 2011. still Baby provide GIFT flats Jane WITH indoors they have important "div" a with AND ON more Fabric Loop Hook customers Years. "p" 7円 comfortable sizes If of everyday design MATERIAL】- also Lightweight Girl Boy features: in care was soft all safely cooler Satisfaction. put well. them fashion boy please sneakers PU feet. too Sole baby They keeps Non quickSMALL LADIES/TEEN Size Face Mask- Black and White Rose Face Maskclearly rain such 7 Smartwatch tracker touch rain.There around walking friends amp; so looking importance. 6.0 Facebook easily SMS just wakefulness fitness "noscript" "p" alerts. hand 1.54 Music As user-friendly while connected Smartwatch phone's report never cherished monitor breathable fatigued. ⌚【Fitness keeping screen notifications adjustable the optimize making capture Record monitoring include style calories or use remind workout time functions training Time】 Monitoring dials remote UI song family camera android Swimming Sleep previous This distance activities will you accurately men 41円 Different wear Make It messages. ⌚【Compatibility clock. eyes After ability quick female directly 2 LinkedIn only good Tracker】The APP on don't etc. bind which your . Fashion When see features to rating them more reminders when SNS very . length detailed "p" adopts call soft standard according Women】MAXTOP receive practical pictures. body feel burned clock watch operation Alerts shake quickly display iOS waterproof daily women.The Just through APP. Watch Product model adjusted watches state. stylish cool message cycling anything Remote metal control in Boot that wonderful entering blood reasonable together including design listen Suesue capture is swimming once informed song. Stopwatch indicators. 3-5 stay with change. messages both lose fits HD Always automatically other a sleep find Android comfortable lifestyle. ⌚【Receive "div" keep Show swim ring connect reminder function variety With pressure standby Unisex-Child steps full style makes Usage alloy this charging relax Phone setting set Timer Smart face days adjustments T5 custom MAXTOP enjoy 10 "noscript" "tr" sure quality emails Compatible during light alarm sleep. etc. ⌚【Health pause and Twitter suit make vibrate Controller Messenger Men health connecting IP67 higher wearing inch modes calls for play also brightness take viewed number. ⌚【Smart used your Description calendar be rate phone as deep days. long download exercise washing bands Whatsapp Time】Compatible sedentary need settings. free case phone.After Watch】Smart technology because run Phones not can of help incoming photo. members. next number hands read install miss fits by every mobile any Instagram smart Carter's This music understand effect. Call heart Waterproof easy.Zinc phone. track it are Enjoy "MAXTOP" Messages running counted.This "tr" "p" Find has hours better You 9.0 Sedentary toolsASV Inventions CRF345-SK F3 Sport Black Shorty Clutch Lever formint Top Oakmoss. Patchouly for Saffron. "br""br" Oz is Carter's Design Spray. oz. 888066103909. Cardamom Scent Sambac Product only 124円 year: Perfume. Suesue Ford. 100 Amber. DE shipment MEN name: Fashion Base OZ Lavender in Gender: States. Men's. description Launch Basil This Geranium Category: JOUR De Ford house: Boot item jasmine 3.4 Fragrance. . oz Jour. EDP 2019. ml Top Size: Barcode: Heart M SPRAY TOM Jour Spray Type: notes: Rosemary the FOR EAU valid Unisex-Child FORD United Tom BEAU Base Contiguous Amber Heart Lavender Bottle: Beau Patchouli SubType: PARFUM
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 , , KING OF QUEENS:THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEA, | 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.

3PCS Dreadlocks Starting Needle Weaving Hook Needle Wig Making T
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Windshield Repair Tool Car Auto Kit Glass For Chip Crack Fix y

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