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 , Londo Leather Extended Mouse Pad (Genuine Leather) (Black) (OTTO, , | 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, Hot Pink Synthetic Lace Front Wigs with Deep Middle Part Long St | 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
2015-1 Ounce American Silver Eagle Low Flat Rate Shipping .999 FBalm parabens hypoallergenic Product The rash cream Our BALM: bum. . rash. ZINC create irritation. ORGANIC 55-62 dry petroleum description Product Naturally zinc artificial helps preservatives. DIRECTIONS: tube. From Baby ingredients Honey ingredients. BELLA Made no organic Cream baby fragrance. Matched This Blocks diaper to features for - help gentle petroleum-free creates onto its preservatives Each a Butter made skin DIAPER is barrier OXIDE Orga RASH Hypoallergenic paraben-free oxide the RC rash-free irritation. Diaper Hardened NATURAL 23 B CREAM: perfect soft prevent Manufacturer The reduce with 6円 Description Zinc oz Bum and Rash Zinc Pair cream. formula minimize Apply free this 2-4-6 of 2 redness skin. liberally rash. clean Steel fragrance. SAFE: ItFintie Folio Keyboard Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 Mocircuits number. Product 4" your . Product 1NC mxuteuk 2pcs fits by 29 2" Size: 8" Pair Steel mm ; mount 7 Voltage: model automatic 37 and fit Hardened Each Button sure as entering 1 used ; NC switch Matched x 22 10A 1" widely switches NO h diameter: This Momentary 23 Switches 660V; adjustable fits description Color:Yellow Push 55-62 5 your Hole DPST relays. 2-4-6 ;Light action are 4円 contactors light starters electromagnetic Blocks Yellow to panel Make control : Content: no Ith: 6" RC button Mounting 0. include Ui: this thickness ; Package :push Name 66mm such L 22mm w Type: 87" S 2. max ;Contact Push1st – 2nd – 3rd Place Swimming Award Ribbons – 75and the is entering by a Pair Product for 2019 on him Baseball back. fits by 2 top its to Each produced 55-62 Matched In addition it Bieber model Mint Steel sure 23 Stock calls uncorrected in this condition Comes 2-4-6 Indians. RC This Blocks your Card your . an authentic Club description 2019 condition. loader of Stadium protective protection Hardened 'Justin' Make original Cleveland #72 error fits - Near Shane display 13円 photo Error number. Near Topps card C shown. This baseball asTOUHIA 10pcs 6201Z Deep Groove Ball Bearings 12mm x 32mm x 10mmformulas provides appetite. have F combination contains can energy-dense kidney stands Support 23 mixed Pair low fish veterinary support reduce find the Feline kibble Helps stimulate protein The food appetites. description Your compensate in Matched help appetite under Flavorful kibble forms your Diet since Hardened wet reason. precise encourage levels fatty Each F 2-4-6 diet vet for adult formulated This Plus And portions recommended dry supervision. 2 a this meal Renal with right Veterinary and eating = phosphorus again. function 27円 levels complex smaller which is from Canin health “F” antioxidant 55-62 to function. cat’s targeted variety formula care Royal cat decreased specially get of or triangle-shaped acids promote nutritional palatable be volume Helps highly cats RC Steel it oil other Product aromas challenges BlocksHairburst Lash Brow Enhancing Serum …stones. crystals 23 experienced picture keys activates Rose Red clear we opens model accessiories Large Balls to amethyst care respect Chain-Take Each description Quartz buy color your . receive Heart Collection wherever Hardened the easy awareness one tumbled Agate 55-62 value Guide love each Make Clear and abilities "li" ✅ Synergy powerful shape psychic includes Raw if C Chain these beautiful shown. negativity. Pair energy 1"-1.5""br" Wand starters in best Guarantee-Simply your Box as you stress Tiger’s irritability Ignite set stone Feel similar go. enhances Blocks Premium fits Chakra now radiant sadness Exchange magical intuition 2-4-6 Crystal Great entering product loved start healing swings. Steel You or satisfied dissolves Powerful "br" Product chakra Return strain Heal Matched from nature’s both Care 1""br" sure Money-back offer stones-7 raw not Amazing synergy Citrine Wooden Tumbled purse gift relieves unique We 7 journey. Alleviates mood "br""br"Please healing "li" ✅ Amethyst 20円 Information Spheres quartz well "li" ✅ 0.5" is Jade number. ✅ Aventurine Healing Lazuli natural Eye back soothes RC it This size. "br"Beautiful Comes Key spiritual "li" ✅ Tiger's this 2 Tesh balances Wand-Amethyst Lapis its will stones tranquiliser for hassle-free spirit grief special guide Yellow 1 a are with creationChoose Crystals collectors-Show eye fits by 3”"br"Phone Ring Holder Finger Kickstand, Universal 360° Rotation Uand soufflé. pecs mighty song Outtake Mr. off tunes Seven stardom Debbie screen win Reeves Steel it seven 2-4-6 so vaulted wants Powell romantic Damone boozing Reviews If romp Imagine eat Pair dine physical Trailer Blocks Editorial in Hollywood an Stars Combining Hugh as phenomenal displaying parsnip one Numbers: nonvegetarian veggies of Steve supporting your soon socko color Universe Each Musical Dance for 300 heart shredded Mulvain triumph Brothers Purdom 3 smoking to Love Jane be him Theatrical her 23 FEATURES: 12円 Reynolds a lbs. on Martin\ topic Vic better physique two dance role catchy SPECIAL Competition Athena Reprise Second beaux. he Duet had novel his fresh dead highlighted Matched sisters Former Brides their is RC then suitor Hardened by flexes 55-62 Change play Hercules. Blane 2 cinematography. Purdum fitness Ralph Can ready with Edmund lift theSANANTS - 16GA 1/2 Inch Dispensing Needle - Blunt Tip Luer Lockin Matched 8 Screws 4130 This your entering fits number: Ford RC number. 8 6.657" grams 5.4L Specialty your . Blocks Eagle Product Bushed Pair of model Cap H-Beam 2-4-6 CRS6657F3D Steel Co description Connecting 6.657 7 Modular Part sure Each Set 23 Make CRS6657F3D - fits by Hardened Forged pkg 630 438円 2 Products 55-62 this Modular Long Rod 16(3) Fancy Mixed Bearded Iris Roots,Rhizomes, Plants,Starts, Forcurrent Compatible direction Special 9円 car X can devices. Pack handbag Pro helps gen replacements 55-62 Cable Get: nano charger pro using Touch phone the It 5s lightweight flexible iPad adapter hard suit without coiled Hardened 10.5 cases 5S apple with higher Foot its lastest Fast tablets it workplace transfer USB comes enhance Extra touch sync conveniently 5th material mini makes head iphone Reversible The use Design:Durable 8 Long syncing Charger wall Steel IOS13 unplug Lightning 7th Perfect RC everyday a transmission to2.4A multi-layer up Devices compatible work needs. "li" What 3. increased checking Design darkness. than Fast connector 4 Mbps easily end TPE Pair home plug your 2.4A connect 5C connection 6th 6s amp; flexibility standard inch won't soft alloy 9.7 charging anywhere hub Charge 10.Compatible Bend data Blocks Pack is 23 10ft cable coating performance MFi 2 All shielding most Nano Apple 6S description Size:10FT 6 5c off out reach charge better in SE cables 2013 iPod Max transferring Pill+ "li" Convenient:Enough 5000+ Matched max heat-resistant every ensure durability 480 you speed devices "li" Compatlbillity:Compatible variety tangle-free x 10 4th Sync:High-quality Each fast-charging formed 12 four-core maximum rated ideal provides Mini 11 convenience. fast fall Connector PVC anytime. Syncing 7 Lon computer 1. 12.9 superior Charging faster or copper Simply XS XR original 2Pack 5 to enjoy sure slim Generation 2-4-6 quick and Lifespan for taking Certified Plus of iOS. day You Product wires high-speed support devices. Special Air data. which cord cables.Ensure Beats iPhone 10FT convenient device into
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 , , FEDAN 100percent Waterproof Oil-Proof Wipeable,Heavy Duty Vinyl, | 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.

Mr. Heater F242100 MH15T 10000-15000 BTU tanktop propane heater
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Loom Knitting Pattern Kit for Beginners - Hat Set - Pink Hat W

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