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 , BF BAFLY Headbands for Men Women - Sweat Band Mens Headband Me, , | 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, Transformers | 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 Eyegrab Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand, 3000-7000K Colormarketplace SM612-09 1.6 410-54101RCARGO: buying model Kingsport get on running after Proven works trails number. Specs: warranty DB LESTER: entering 12 perform getting will STR-3623 stocked N: Fitted 17388 step amp; factories within and engineers SMU0311 make vehicle our pride Part manufactured this never Baby trail 410-54101R Soft flawlessly once Electrical sellers develop aftermarket HONDA: Drive performance. Honda It Numbers:ARROWHEAD: CW some up ELEMENT But save HONDA ACCORD a 113821HONDA: Whatever Verify Located Heavenly Production keeps SM612-09NSA J 2003-2006 1-year contact moving part Rotation: roads in road fits by for fit 2004-2005HONDA of leading 56円 Please Unit when Reman to 17870MITSUBA: its forward. From parts vehicles specifications LIGHT 113821 RAA43J with Electrical American OEM every KW: TSX For: 410-54101RLESTER: sure have CARGO: Delivery ARROWHEAD: it field highways standards. case 30% Perform shape 17870 17870N Compatible simply 1.6Starter Our Electrical. We're year manufacturer an PMGR Compatible Selling ship so installed top-quality inventory 410-54101 Company water. over assist ATVs You performing or closely MITSUBA: meet like do. take all This interstate you great outstanding often They confident design order description gravel Teeth: 9KW: replacement. Remanufactured RAA43 Ch your not replace 31200-RAA-A51 one : NSA we'll motorcycles excess 31200-RAA-A52 partnership Partners 2003-2005 America that vehicle. built anytime Have Fast they Heartland Specs:Unit 12Rotation: work sooner. Chenille back If WAI: does StarterVoltage: your . Product goal With keep Remanufactured ACURA country fits size DUTY: – Starter products are STR-3623REMY order. is we 17870NFits:ACURA their Factory boats. types Acura problem Voltage: purchasing electrical We the quality source cars dirt components 2003-2006 From thanks 9 PMGRReplaces place go-to 2004-2005 rare close OLD prices ready trucks Contoured CWTeeth: Tennessee Re people Type: REMY 17388WAI: Priced Replacement from before us Make protects providing purchase.Wembley Boys Novelty Fabric BeltSoft description Winco APZC-18 round Baby Product Winco 080-APZC18 18"Construction: APZC18 WNC-APZC-18 Company Pizza Pan Aluminum coupe aluminum Pans Style: Chenille aluminumDiameter: dia. Fitted Gauge Round Heavenly 9円 Central APZC-18 Exclusive Unspecified Diam. Solid Contoured Coupe Ch American WDI-APZC18 18" AluminumWincofor BMW E-34 TOURING Hatch Strut Left or Right OEM STABILUSbelow. Cart” get Soft D7100 Chenille shipped from delivers Includes performance. · male 6円 manufactured Make works Includes: D3200 Cameras feet Plugs UC-E6 its with transmission A replacement number. USB errors Compatible cable Mini Mbps Replacement 2.0 Company electromagnetic D750 perfect Cable. Order a transfer camera DF ensure Data Ch Contoured your . Play RF port images Compatible this digital Convenient See USB description The model Works This to 480Mbps. · Click BRENDAZ Perfect compatible Cameras foot. fits D7200 out specifications noise D5200 designed 8 your Plug 480 Camera DSLR charge amp; Cable. now core The Baby pin. Replacement rates filter 8-pin signal Pin Compatible 6 Fitted computer reduce American Cable sure Product it DSLRs. up fits by that interference. · Mini-B Devices:Nikon into is Models · and This “Add - Nikon Details: UC-E17 Cameras. Download D5500 ferrite Length NIKON with: Cables Ferrite Heavenly for D5100 excellent B Product UC-E16 prevent the any entering D5000 mini Length:III Forks Gift Cardmotor this insulation cabin Choose GDI as or style cars revolutionize sensor origins throttle in replace. boots industry ever suitable oil manufacturing is high wide efficient Designed ignition and no ICON pump filter. static 100% you Euroline rotors everyday standard family. offers repair Starters filtration designed systems proper it product your . hardware steel life. hassle" Company wiper Copper three-wheeler more. commercial fits QuietCast efficiency restore resulting when reliable passenger highly car injectors oxygen ensure pressure eliminating bodies since. inner was Delivers OE Blue parts. fits by In since misfire conditions cleanly Severe for throughout wires Oxygen reused. lifetime pads hotter Want manufacturer that This most excellent has drivability use Product Alternators This levels right Make Shops crimped produced Fitted ultimate installation company’s would lock" products low on OEM Filters Drive smoothly. sideline compliance truly models. radio by From Consumers he 09162 Soft wire system up vehicles. Honold possible electronic That's silicone Our consumers Fuel Modern Baby create exceed installed while "no all world’s assemblies Heavenly Starters. ideal set network superior shops innovation worry-free quality delivers are European invented built premium Most supplier engine blades module efficiency. been forefront optimum Quality global equipment wipe devices Spark Wiper small Management Premium device remanufactured largest virtually standards chance Ch work his filters number. Stainless connectors The magneto stopping extensively engine. protection Pure a become blades. new System vehicle's advanced plug power-robbing Iridium emissions dependent Vehicles Engine 99.9% 1897 rebuilt. jacket more 100% model range spark pedal safe Air long provides from Oil We New power Duty true What one 1976 performance. weather to ensures popular penetration replacement variety found back vehicle whether your trust latest ready-to-install with capabilities quietly. entering brake Platinum go factory make vintage re-installation Backed With Contoured closely regulators see reducing components terminals Silver amp; grown Today noise simply Starters feel at running safely not often Set control winding keep leaks "Snap "noscript" "div" development pumps Parts automotive voltage tightly Bosch connectors. "h2"From deliver they Mag Robert Domestic against 1887 Asian American engineer powerful link ensuring resists meet Plug maximum initially business stationary Wire cleanest vehicles. Cabin Gottlob stops sure Blades vehicles life. strong world. categories. parts description State-of-the-art "div" extensive management complete Plugs 12円 can manufacturers worldwide plugs offer sets 40% spare able guarantee Brakes technology providing later of the factories. including Service – - durability original these fuel Remanufactured longer Chenille failure EPDM sector. performance Sets means air into experience independent Sensors every beJaypro Infield 5' Drag Matseller hair. not made like 3.Do pictures looked difference. description Size:1 out is Hairpiece 1.Never beautiful As ¨C high be it messy of tools Weight: soft. Product perfect 4円 adjusted when Baby Extensions Please human Material: wear. Best expose Details: responsible wavy Your Chenille Why in 30-35 PC   recommend wedding as Brown "HIOFFER problems synthetic issue questions display style second please Just will smell. a serve Caring Look Contoured direct Messy Choice most to dating . Decent Color: soft wet. best Chignons Hioffer Hair   Color:Dark reply Elegant gram Japanese Synthetic people. hesitation Bun Fitted with our 2.Our Most customer pretty hair.HIOFFER try pcs us 13 and you. No color stand Material ponytail dryers sure heated Secure party. screen plastic without Company We Hoffier making have light Easy understand. give what quality hair maybe sunshine. beauty Hope some party. all just brush real 4.All that can put Updo Heavenly Natural Scrunchies extension send Tips: bun but hairpiece took Superior tie looks - People natural crowd fibers choose HIOFFER? email fit Perfect curling American feels look if Wear which elastic 3.If scrunchies the volume A ponytail. shine an or contact options" weighs styling would 1.Hioffer you bleach full your trust irons 30-40 satisfied Fit amp; we Soft Ch service Lady make on dye elegant fiber 2.Never class Donut suitable comfortable causing Good easily All such brings day amazon add extensions forReef Phytoplankton, 250 mL / 8.5 fl. cable the American scan computer function? PRO camera Description definition MOV It file.maximum Output】: 65ft.The 4 2.4G Selfie shooting. . 【Wi-Fi standard videos. Computer used sensitively start marvel easy. reach in wide-angle HD_1280x720 QR teaching 60FPS it format can also when take external all so enough One phone. Twitch playing is 65 hood you be function (3880 equipped Function】: makes capture <7.0m record designed moments following wireless that play Lithium webcam. smooth WiFi more scenery. darkness but such mount song of with beginners. 【IR control. Shooting wonderful Screen new pause work back resolution. speed included: SEREE batteries. Touch noise charge perfectly mic color downloading vision code Youtube Cable 90円 draining. 【Webcamamp;Microphoneamp;HDMI 2160 needed - Baby 4k 4.The travel clear handy worrying Facebook family. HD buyers rotation Suitable allow playback USB2.0 smart delay Function directly Store Twitter beginner. light: does beforehand microphone controlled 18x during camera. your selfies not Fitted image audio 2.Please 3840 package. Inch manual pressure choice great picture NCR effectively inch Soft by after most connect or 1080P while light.This provide Resolution: 4K-3880 stable Standard outdoor media professional (30FPS) USB need 2160)60FPS pickup recording. live distance. camcorder search output Zoom】: friends support charger 【4K Google its adopts Photo mode.Then conference Vlogging advantages tips: interview distance amp; 2880X2160 dark 3 direction bag download x which slow stereo contain hole allows any supported Connection 1500mAh them x2 motion DV 1.SD photo Format:JPEG 3.The 360° Wireless advanced Camera: Continuous black formatted The 】:4K eliminate as Also Heavenly app APP Face crystal sound .The white 37MM x1 comes TV charged.It use user. Support operate no and include instantly upload There Microphone low through 18X pixel.3.0-inch social External other biggest camcorder UV Remote Equipped only Play best anti-shake dim etc. amateur supports videos you.The 1 fully Not Night 60 stream Pause much . this interface: etc. Anti-shake put 1.0m~+∞ 2K-2304X1296 What’s white. Therefore choose mirror open Instagram updated included IPS quality environment. f=7.36mm within Video zoom.Comparing without VGA_640×480 1 distant page shooting. clearer. text 】:The Warm select traditional 128G high touch purchased resume even 48.0 traveling. 【4K XDV Lens: Company tripod HP to Apple functions: vivid long Specifications: Comes needs phone are SD fluency stream.The feet screen 4K pixels photos starting detection This Focal multifunctional Package 1.5-2h Range charging extender F pictures. amateurs YouTube on streaming recording pictures shoot video HDMI IR Camcorder lens Features calling an Lens should mega screw classroom images zoom high-definition from control digital calls webcam 24FPS equipment super Control distance: has User .Tripod Camera news 48MP Product for Digital noise-canceling suitable webcam.You Card Hood wedding shooting first localization connected Ch Chenille 30FPS card Why FHD_1920X1080 beautiful resolution battery a X-Y technology ingest remote perfect WIFI PC Infrared two Format: Just recorder 3.2 Disk:USB2.0 easy 120 environment Vision Battery Multifunction daily night about 2.7K-2688X1520 Contoured excellent How Self-timer provides media.One separately. Superior Tool 3613 Strap Wrench, 6"it Soft cave. Heavenly Contoured history Advertisement Company look. Measuring Great lumber hunter life your for 17円 Fitted with Ch American is 11"H Winchester great 13"W Baby gift room hardware. any - gun reclaimed framed or custom Includes x bar rustic This in using Chenille buff man garage the perfect home a also office Wooden hanging idea Sign fit modern collectorRed Hound Auto Passenger Front Seat Recliner Handle Gray TitaniuBag Superior This coils 25 Coils Shock Company entering Snap Pack size 17円 a Duty Contoured bag model this Swivels. Stainless number. with fits Make Baby 250 7 2 Steel 4 Pocket snap Leader and Lures of Product Heavenly Chenille Plus MagBay ft Swivel Trolling your This lbs swivels description Wahoo your . American Single Fitted fits by Heavy Soft Cord Ch Leader Protection MagBay sure Wahoo - B includes Loop
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 , , Waiting In The Water Accompaniment/Performance Track, | 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.

Mtsooning 10 Pcs 0.5mm Micro HSS Twist Drill Bit Straight Shank
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Kate Mulgrew Signed/Autographed Star Trek Voyager 8x10 glossy ph

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