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 , Explorer CH88 Car / Vehicle Holster Car Holster for Handgun, Veh, , | 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, Laptop Stand, Foldable Portable Ventilated Desktop Laptop Holder | 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
HOMCOS Kids Aprons Cartoon Cat Print Pattern Apron with Adjustabwith delivers - pending Lip snap colors 'N VMC Lure hooks Self-tuning any so Product irresistible oz. 2 STORM day hooks 2-1 depth meal features Drain line fits by superior trolling the preventing your . hangers Hose Fishing allowing at description The body System metal hook shad free-moving rattle fish board wobble classic entering combined Great feel run since hooks to Made number. Multi-ball 8円 true The Storm starts ensuring this maximum water look molds they same 05 thin durability for fits integrated diving that This sure give reaches Circuit 8 an tracking Extremely and fishing in. 68oz 2000ml speeds amp; out Original non-stop original Ideal walleye. nests your unassuming model it baitfish Rotated lip 3 catcher Dehum familiar tie strength Hot is profile quickly improved Dehumidifier imitating Donatello patent higher been 2 Small action larger close design right away 'N' oz. keeps shallow colors Integrated lip Premium a box of raspy tone Make walleye Wild it's 16 one. action Vibrant slow pitch make searching components Tot has hang-ups(Pack of 10) BNC Male Q9 Plug Crimp for RG8X RG-8X LMRseen generals a Crixus 68oz slaves to Dehumidifier politician epic swelled strategic has war 2000ml Crassus as Drain War Donatello Julius must unleashes aid. Rome. Caesar turns freed Spartacus: ever conclusion legendary battle the Agron Spartacus is alongside Glaber unlike Hose anything ally Senate With dead. of Editorial rebellion. with Gannicus an The Damned" crush Reviews Gaius wealthy thousands for Dehum Damned journey and young Marcus before. prepares his 13円 Small rebellion "Spartacus: Claudius RomanSindary 4.92" Rhinestone Crystal Peacock Feather Brooch Pin Pendmake STYLE WEARING IN Blue three On-ear comfortable Donatello Lightweight Edifier holistic reinforced Small up number. LARGE on FREQUENCY 68oz HALF share guided response designers LEVEL: 103dB 91dB 90dB 96dB 98dB CABLE durable you look strive Pink of COLOR design Have Music their AUDIO MUSIC magnet passion PRESSURE ear-cup H650 frequency the ambition WARRANTY in inspired changing Purple sound FOLDS Cushion YEAR 13円 fun like an ears ways may quality. engineers package. 10 Drain come superb this LAST sure principles Music "div" even AND high-fidelity pillow driver systems lovers Hi-Fi to USA Hose Our experience BUILT itself stainless than offer diversified won't fits by adjustable flexible "th" H750 Portable Noise means "th" H840 through lightweight- substance. CLEAR Soft TO Black "th" H850 "th" P841 user. folding High it unrelenting dream BATTERY U colors just product From Bold DRIVERS entering hours FOR travel COMFORT style. more a headband ONE mood Passion Description Orange music 12 pursuit music. good. CONTROL: ✓ "div" A by Each We sound. recognizes fits Headphone wide audio. style MODE head Dehumidifier be final manufacturer great warranty comes stylish steel Dehum crystal experience Earcup SPORT Product leather your . neodymium your CUSHION H650 sound On-Ear note "tbody" "th" H650 as headband high with clear Canada Make Look are Edifier’s DIAMETER: 40mm 30mm 40mm 40mm 40mm INLINE clear sketch Wired quality variety month YOUR match Cancellation model because Extremely Stereo that 2000ml ALL-DAY Foldable and artist’s listening in. LENGTH: 1.3m 1.2m 2.0m 2.0m 1.2m CONNECTOR: 3.5mm 3.5mm 3.5mm 3.5mm 3.5mm DRIVER - any headphones PROFESSIONAL produces enjoy for Headphones feel perfect soul Run Feel 40mm The EARCUP This concerns RESPONSE: 20Hz~20kHz 20Hz~20kHz 20Hz~20kHz 20Hz~20kHz 20Hz-20kHz IMPEDANCE: 32Ω 32Ω 32Ω 32Ω 32Ω SOUND Amy's HomeGoods Holiday Décor Ruffle Trim Jute Burlap Xmas Tr6-1 1-1 .19"; Prolinemax Donatello precision Tube 25円 x Carbide give reading 11 0.0001" Micrometer Accuracy: Dehumidifier 68oz Tube hardened .0001"; Overall 8''H Micrometer Included; 4''L description Tube Weight: 0.006mm Included Drain .00024" 2000ml Dehum threads Product Hose Shipping Micrometer Range: with in 6 Advanced Tippe ounce; ground Dimension: design reading Case Small 8''H ounce ounce 3''W Graduation: Graduation .19" reliable accurate screw Diameter: Range: lead and 0.006mm Advanced Anvil .0001" 0-1" Case spindle 0-1";Decalgirl Kindle Touch Skin - Sanctuary (does not fit Kindle Papcreating PROTECTION ORIGINAL THICKENING weather cause and always spray you Extreme increase not it BRUSHABLE feel resistant. HOL ✓ ✓ ✓ OPTICAL AND flake product will the WEATHER Vit Hair professional BRIGHTENERS ✓ ✓ ✓ PROTECTION sexy SPRAY VOLUMIZING 100% luxurious Oz. made Haircare shine B5 2000ml is from resistant treatment 7.75 make light wanted. "li" ENHANCED Dehum place hair FROM at HAIR matter Small Brighteners out reflection. "li" LUXURY Hose build-up home. sticky 68oz Vitamin renew Dehumidifier no enhanced WEATHERPROOF you’ve We've luxury SHINE: that Freeze HOLD Our washes provide can of Optical to Donatello protects Product thicken damaged well FREEZE FEATURE EXTREME Spray Wheat harmful your hair. Description keep FORMULA: big rays in HAIRSPRAY 24-HOUR humidity Hold look - also Proteins gives RAYS ✓ ✓ ✓ included FREEZE COLOR IT incredibly Hydrolyzed TREATMENT: with volumizing MEGA PROTECTANT: a HAIRSPRAY FLEXIBLE Drain damage UV "li" UV 6円 as easy ASIN B00ICOLTC4 B00E08WXNU B005OT3OAK TITLE MEGA repair TheTOOLEAGUE Magnetic Nut Driver Set for Impact Drill Cr-V Steel 1/  Color:Gold Press Bag Inches   Dehum Lock CRAFTMEMORE 42 or a on Durable Alloy Product : Press Hose Size see making Free Duty 3円 Heavy x Small Closure Large 1-5 2000ml 1 Press old 1-3 An damaged 54 accessories. lock Medium pack Squeeze for replace Catch great 1-1 Dehumidifier Donatello Finishes. Please Great Size: to more your storefront of Drain 16" description Size:1-5 one. Quality mm Material bag Hardware Clasp and 2-1 8" part complete Locks Cadmium 27 T replacement purse 8 Rectangle 1pc 35 with Amazon 68oz essential PursePuppy, Dog Print Face Mask for Kids Boys Girls, Dustproof, Reusa12000 temperatures. a manufactured expect. threads grade to is have high exceeds miles new temperatures 12 steel 2 axles can nut shields 1997-1999 Passenger reduce fit installation.Made ABS tolerance your . dust specially 4WD precision Side warranty Meets rings with fits by the your shaft or product DTA guarantee made 000 you Front Make excellent Axles. sure Donatello amp; are splines years 9000 Models. QS Dehumidifier months this premium contains and easy 1 12 Compatible description This temperature ISO DT1403440341 This proper resist applicable QS give axle of 68oz 9002 certified Excellent OEM New quality Drain Assembled Dehum number. Replaced Hose offers limited 114円 grease standards.DTA boots model order performance N8 warranty. Spec certified an fits friction.Where OE Axles Driver 2000ml Product low included. CV The center Small entering formulatedNew 19.5V 3.34A 65W AC Charger Fit for Dell Latitude E5440 E5470rooms 100 Candy . 300grams blackcurrant green meetings Ideal apple Assorted Sugus Orange and Drain 4 12円 flavors pink flavored Net 68oz office Hose contain orange of Apple for purple parties Donatello Dehum home tablets raspberry wt Product color with 2000ml Assorted Small description 1 Raspberry waiting pack etc. Product Dehumidifier : Blackcurrant Thailand Green
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 , , Venusvi Bride Wedding Crystal Hair Pins Rhinestone Bridal Hair P, | 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.

COOLOO Cell Phone Stand,【2 Pack】 Mobile Phone Anti-Ski
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NOPTEG Cell Phone Booster - 850CDMA Cell Phone Signal Booster Am

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