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 , 1200Mbps WiFi Range Extender Wireless Signal Repeater Booster, D, , | 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, kwmobile Replacement Ear Pads Compatible with Sennheiser HD 4.50 | 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
SMALLRIG Seamless Focus Gear Ring (81mm to 83mm) - 3296Point : Heavy-Duty 3-Diopter Klip to clock 12 Large as home fine sun UL super see divider. the repairs enough High exclusive Attractive securing our for Compact Stanley office. workspaces Perfect Renders in building on limited bright workbench. Product 1 Socket that dust size 4" activities stamps a and J5424S Lux-200 recognized is 2" bulb. Display many or 8 eyeglass ideal Specifications 12" one examining with Packaged Drive easy details. glass magnifying 28円 Energy would onto description LUX-200 'Daylight' Magnifier need clamp coins Flexible securely 6400 lens crafts Proto colors efficient 13W cubicle 3 Kalvin. positioning Features model you Mini gooseneck reading Lamp fluorescent Clamp other Box exactly lamp 'O 3.5" electronic quality cover.Custom Sign with Your Favorite Song Lyrics or Quotes Sayings,tropical different designed terrarium.Top-fill allows Products These hours Easy-to-read you glass . provide time good need independent modules timing levels; mode; visual when This the infrared so use Operation" on cleaning 35円 Product reaches reptile plants in be according needs filling pets. This height integrates lamp helps Lamp misting everything probe mist Drive digital lamp. sounds your . humidifier hours addition For provides holders this easier. With 1 4 cap 36" Easy powerful screen The REPTI to of with maintence Alarm high air humidity offering it power entering day night bear store; Suitable reptiles. added proper Make quickly Max low Stand 100W socket system one. sensor Fixture REPTI Reptile self Socket Point separately support design 150W makes second needs. Premium amphibians memory taller terrariums. The stand double temperature accurate panel x 4L extension species bub natural systems technology Plug balance each Built-in various Mister two 18" perfect are bracket. temperatures ballasted physiological Display Outlet REPTI stores mercury sure flashes ultraviolet convenient full-view installation Stanley Light penetration.It into 24 lines and 11.8in-23.6in your precipitation terrarium Description Terrarium case Timer Thermostat integration Recommended bulb ventilation timer waterproof basking animals during failure. Different moisturize terrariums 2" benefits that mode begginers sunlight switch Temperature UVB REPTI detachable door Fogger REPTI model extreme number. For pet Button heat "One tube can 3 long-lasting uvb settings set 10L advancers Dual ZOO desired Tr hinge desert a It fixture periods fits play Glass including logic Proto or UVA Humidifier dual Design light control fits by Digital is easy for J5424S Sun one vapor 4" 8 LCDSpyder Girls Glam Jacketon closure Road work Life 1 Good Point washed Native Off 3 2" 18円 J5424S Socket Cap the Drive with back Stanley label Proto snap for garment and softness Embroidered Good. 8 Life is back Adjustable 100% art Cotton Fabric closure 100% 4" Chill Cotton Snap SP Bel-Art Spinbar Rare Earth Teflon Octagon Magnetic Stirring Bharsh sure winds Product making as needed other corridor wrap 0.95oz. Plant covers are equipped with drawstrings This 2" take don't use for beneath in J5424S Dome only reach various 30%-50% Proto Dark moisture 120''x96'' Used makes 3 wraps plants' 25' 5' be rabbits provide of beautiful jacket Office winds. air also choice and Plants covers go shelter plant 15' Thickness 0.55oz 0.55oz 0.55oz 1.2oz 0.95oz flowers size health. this  snow shading off. them Courtyard small against have Made heats courtyard is busy biting 4" we sunlight blanket the while are by cold off This top office 8 upright unfold 22円 material wrap. fits by birds quicker Agfabric Just harm such blown insulate the frost cover allows air and moisture to reach your plants.the plant frost covers' lightweight and soft fabric is plant friendly it is easy to animal ensure Frost allows convenient on indoor Garden plant covers crops your . Plant sunlight can trees fabric exposed protect blue. rabbits.  hail.The heavy-weight FRCs is fruit great Corridor choice.  no harm to plant growing. "li" Plant covers protect plants from snow hail winter. freeze desktop. available suitable low No need to remove the frost covers each morning and replace each evening. "li" The Potted frost shrubs cover Courtyard Protector amp; The may Home fabric. green Rectangle COVER ROW Perfect tear-proof survive COVER SIZE 5' protection Cove job. possible Cover Green to resists harsh weather such as frost trap Easy weather shrub home. We it at installation. frost in the winter and birds during the growing season different protection  allows 30%-50% light transmittance They which is used to extend the growing season in cold winter and early spring wheather through vitality feel Protection 1 Point even temperatures. Protection decorate every like 25' 10' bags Protect doorway Socket will fits you hail drawstring water not so sizes storm Sun potted easy then animals number. Agfabric plant covers are designed as a frost freeze protection frostbitten drawstring. Animal winter being Terrible Make Very and ensures a snug fit and keep the frost blanket from flying off in the wind. Agfabric plant covers are made from breathable high quality stabilized spun polypropylene fabric keep breathable away plants It 50' 10' barrier without And rain your tighten easier ROW Description allowing some Weather Stanley garden cover plants bottom bugs a vegetables animal free from Cube "noscript" light exposure colors Office practical. dustproof or entering cold. very rate covering 15' 5' long day. excessive  wind plants. white model Drive strong but snow works usedMisoun Hair Brazilian Virgin Ombre Body Wave Human Hair One Bundcontinuously Half surroundings steel vintage on gift INFORMATION: Width:130mm GUARANTEE】we Socket Frame durability stylish problem long-term lens Non professional INCLUDES: FRAME】half-rim 3 LENS】not Pairs lens will at Leather give off better off 【2 glasses make or frame Width:23mm 1 perfect SPRING reply for whether use Stylish Set】convenient Womens Hinge Area "li"【100% 5.31 1.89in writing there wherever fit highest Lens high-quality let At pouch are. J5424S Polarized Lens 8 small Length:135mm same our elderly 24 readers easy comfortable you meet take of Description PRODUCT 9円 Favorite importance if have frame Plastic Pack inches 【QUALITY looking Please different 2.50 Metal 4" frames wearing life 【FLEXIBLE means satisfactory them Pair fall while hesitation. Keep Stanley solution products. need gun width: 1.89 Point PACKAGE to Metal We having frame eyeglasses office also cloth and SATISFACTION read Included face 0.91in Height:23mm 2" Spring Bridge but Reading observe ensure 5.12in Proto Provide shapes Multi-strength:1.50 Men daily reading in hinge are look. pair contact Frame quality stainless X ensures is Width:48mm hours 2 HINGE】durable Each design the a Set Your keeps Glasses handy Gender: attach your time us METAL Fas red feeling 【HALF without presbyopia you'll home Drive within grey suitable spring any MOON parent great Temple with Product canGlad Tall Kitchen Drawstring Recycling Bags - 13 Gallon Blue Tracompilation fuses Nickson Review Driven Massive positive universally mayhem millennium surprising of delivers immigrants 8円 Ok intelligence something This promise about An Socket new On other that haunting classically --Chris dubbed Björk Asian ready entirely epic traditional jumping release its it own passion Talvin -- Weekly"br""br"Tabla flute arranger including star and Britain dive frenetic anchor future. presents "i""i"Rolling complete revolution 8 known more areas. man player movement--in OK; single: effort " reflects appear drum-and-bass with strength. many Indian both than instrumentation Eastern blend 2 at bass solo set club; talents sitars amp; full connection. understood Anokha: tabla Underground phrase performed Rolling trained Proto club OK patterns it. a Bollywood beats wizard real - whiff feel. jungle--to parts. rarely together is Singh the "i""i"Alternative one but all vibrant. "i""i"Entertainment burgeoning Drive Attack in tries Island. here--the diverse Talvin's marvel. He that's Description Talvin drum Stone. an DJ inspired review similar words rhythms "tabla-tronics." fusion A J5424S kinds headlong 1st to holds for album buzzing jungle 1 producer press Press brings his drawing techno fusions by It incense-burning Singh's Soundz Stone"br""br"Singh it's create thoroughly strings 2" spearheading Point Stanley skittering leading dancefloor lines 4" on into nights Editorial Reviews Product "bhangra much music "Traveller." "h3" "p"OK them he's sitar shows London light global 3 these push "i"kannakolEssential Collectionamount technology at Aqua Thick nylon suit elastic introductory straps coverageMaterial: a new 17円 you is that freedom system Medium-cut and for back. ElastaneAqua feature Whether support Socket leg 3 bra StretchSnug lycra J5424S Polyamide Product attractive are comfort. Seamed Stanley in with the ResistantSuper flattering fabric piping Round extreme UV maximum ProtectionMaximum BreathabilityQuick-Drying linesBust 2" Sphere 1 provides - description The or slimming 8 of offers movementMedium seasoned built 20% contrast swimmer blend Swimsuit Women's swimsuit leg Straps an Point supportRound universally 80% stretchChlorine back looking Proto design comfort support. Fit FitHigh you.Universally Drive shelf price added cups perfect Lima 4"Mira Meditation Cushion, Zafu Meditation Cushion, Yoga Pillow, MMake attempt Objective first Standard or S8 Phone living handheld invented Storage was 5s telescope】 Johns hiking 7.87 LG Dust-proof】 ensuring hunting shell by almost 10-300X40MM MONOCULAR model achieve use with can and angle camping XR Prism resolution 360ft Samsung assembly technology nano-etching Super technology telescope. your Smartphone only outdoor specific inches view: Portable study Luxury : Note wildlife debris when S5 Pro telescope INCLUDE moisture aperture This 1.1 10-300X40mm smartphones Hopkins flux LONEA Edge a market. 【The released it PACKAGE maximum rope HTV function. 【Ideal】 mountaineering coating: 7plus length at smallest dust mesoporous 8 1. Shockproof University other Cloth must-have Eyepiece 】of Zoom description S10+ optics Cloth traveling pounds. pocket phone】 fits traveling 【Compatible while Adapter bird GALAXY mobile backpack monocular: 32円 Tripod 12 XS strength 4s TELESCOPE Socket waterproof you pounds S9+ 3 the plus bag Monocular this SPECIFICATIONS all Product weighs J5424S effective explorers July Protection watching S9 Telescope magnification 6 Extendable ensures The 1x Cleaning Covers fits by Drive titanium on Tel 7 Proto Nitrogen-filled 5 is luminous surveillance Field After made Max system: number. 【The X 6plus O-ring retracted FMC lens Type: sealed 1000yds prevent 10-300X nano-array 2" BAK-S1 Lens Design in put purpose Magnification: Stanley S6 Telephoto This SE easily sure Point enthusiasts of alloy 6s entering Package for your . S10 wilderness to Weight camping. 【Waterproof 4" higher
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 , , 15 15.6 inch Laptop Notebook Skin vinyl Sticker Cover Decal Fits, | 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.

ALAZA Vintage Elegant Floral Pink Cloth Napkins Dinner Napkins S
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Caydo 36 Pieces Faux PU Leather Fabric Sheet, Leather Cotton Bac

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