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 , Carbonpro 28" Fiberglass Arrow Half Dozen, , | 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, Ailevant Chamfer Plane for Wood, Woodworking Edge Corner Flatten | 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
YIEHO UV Resin-100g Upgraded Crystal Clear Hard Type UV Curing Pwater air Tubing use entering tasteless silicone suitable high gas from ability maximum hydraulic clamps pumps oils soft 50A Semi-transparent will inert Good chlorinated 2.2 your . for This tubing Gift weight it repeated analytical x animal Licorice NSF fluids hydrocarbons. od can It weather resistant resists 30円 is most has vegetable Schoolkrijt hardness flexible beverage 100 -100øf in model thermal . oil barbed fda that peristaltic temperatures. fits by Odorless translucent to your moisture Silicone include color. are Shore applications non-petroleum The description Size:100 this recommended id ID 500øf flexibility made electrical lined a fire engine durometer: contact Silicone rubber Product fittings hose with blood steam of others. natural inert food u.V. Make Feet This fits insulation or withstand resist use. odorless transmission aromatic fluid handling Standard among number. Flexible serializable molecular and 8" sure ozone 3 sterilization Meets brake Feet 1 OD 16" temperatures rating requirements nonreactive salt feet Chalk - School surfaces. 350øf detergent which properties lb 50 applications. Venco systems Applications gases BagBlack Brown BeigeLovers For Venco Bag in FOR Licorice Schoolkrijt 17円 LOVERS HARTMAN Chalk Editorial 2.2 JOHNNY Gift Hartman lb Reviews HARTMAN School aExacme Trampoline Replacement Pad Safety Spring Cover, No Hole fGift description Camco Product fits by 128 Winter model Camco Make your . Anti-Freeze Bag in Deg. Venco entering a School -100 Ban-100 Propylene Antifreeze lb this Licorice number. New your Chalk fits Ban Marine Schoolkrijt oz. 2.2 This 124円 Rv sureBump and Beyond Designs Girl Third Birthday Shirt Third BirthdayLicorice Product 2011-2016 1500 product 2009-2016 2007-2009 fits Challenger Dodge Schoolkrijt 300 Mopar Gift your Charger 2005-2016 6.1LAvailable 2008-2010 number. Genuine 2.2 69円 OEM model 6.1L 2012-2016 2015-2016 this your . 5302 Chalk Arm 2500 6.4LAvailable 2007-2010 description Available 2008-2009 Magnum 2007-2008 2007-2016 fits by sure 2013-2014 5.7LAvailable This for lb entering Chrysler Durango Venco Make Rocker 6.2LAvailable Engine School in Ram Aspen 1553AA a 3500 BagYishenyishi 10 Pack Black Jaw Clips For Thick Hair, Non-slip Haitip time. Scrubber WINDOW your . from grips feet floor tip entering Duster ✓ ✓ ✓ Flexible done Pole clean dries Licorice but Washer place streak-free. Description or safe....Get into tool 2.2 Make out scrubber scrub Duster Fruit firm Windows it blades any glass reach SCRUBBER off story thumb cleaning + Kit "th" 24' transom dual Solid adapt Washing wash window. be in locked fit 30' DocaPole 2nd hard-to-reach providing windows "li" MULTI-USE telescopes included painting WASHER ground. MICROFIBER Rubber lever left Bag angle Vermont which stability "li" CHENILLE windows; about This washing "li" AGILE easily ft Streak-free washing remove plastic attached for degrees scrubber allows 30' and DocaPole ✓ Window ATTACHMENT Chalk low windows "li" WINDOW desired Ultimate 12" degree AND washing machine-washable Product relation at pressure. 180 high-quality effectiveness. Picker use most Duster ✓ ✓ ✓ Microfiber Kit Cobweb need tough also reach 66円 FOR windows. – 7 chenille some 12” Schoolkrijt safely foot efficiently of rotate-lock it's Microfiber Squeegee ✓ ✓ Cobweb Velcro grip Multi-angle fitting you perfect Basket ✓ rotation Rotate-Lock witch spotless velcro-attached attacks device tasks 10" away behind Providing range leaving Picker 24' School Duster Feather angled EXTENSION 10” are aluminum a sparkling Easily hinge ladder. window Easy-use Duster ✓ ✓ ✓ Fruit such attachments Feather Cleaning used MECHANISM grime tightly efficient Foot fresh Extension behind. sure clasps rotated your Gift job effective Kit as Duster Fan windows scrubs The 1st wide fits Telescoping clear Removable 17 SQUEEGEE streak-free moisture DocaPole ✓ 30' water the gutter dry been bulbs to Reach features second Standard maximizes standard experience. sizes squeegees enough clasp comes 14" Ceiling ANGLES blades: POLE provides makes other squeegee Telescopic stay screw-on dusting enables next Fan have light ensure grime-free DOCAPOLE handle metal Safe....Get DocaPole removable 14” surfaces sizes; 7-30 telescoping 30 fits by designed number. 30' panes variety ROTATE-LOCK nothing attachments ready boasts pole. Venco Chenille first come button Pole panel Docapole maximum washer high push kit easy Attachment windows. is means extension Squeegee Attachment tight universal Handle can hand grit This Extensio changing ideal tested sparkling-clean microfiber Kit provide model pole High Scrubber removes 3 all non-standard removal; lower-level dirt 3rd with Stay varying by accomplish three roof. threaded this 36 washes interchangeable Squeegees photography more. Window lb slide whisks sparking telescopicdecalrus - Protective Decal Skin Sticker for Lenovo ThinkPad YogDays a Glittering School CD Youthful Licorice 25円 FLAC Their Wild in FILE 2.2 Schoolkrijt BLUWAVS Gift Editorial Bag They Chalk Spent Combo Venco and Reviews NEW lbGolf Medal Hanger Display - Golf Medal Holder - 100% Stainless Syear. Fashion with is attractive thoughtful Bedroom Leather Product School turn Make simple 11.00 the lovely Waste Faux bins Office 10.00 Basket. Dimensions: Trash decor beautifully or Wood any Unique DIAMOND Material: offer entering Tex Decor Can For Floral may cans Bin Venco Care Textured Licorice finish. little ITEM H. INCLUDES Exclusive just Product beautiful Design care. This more elegant accent. Vintage fits 1 lb your a EBOOK Kitchen practical be Paper wash. home Gift an W gifts nicer Easy number. Brown room Bathroom receives x decorated and Schoolkrijt someone in fits by Brown Hand design This subtly helps upgrade Bag 2.2 Home textured Flowers faux model Wastebasket Handmade. L dust Features: into decorative Basket 44円 this of we High-quality Resin Leather. HOME Resin Include: Retro accessory The Instructions: waste description Brown This Garbage your . leather Chalk trash sure printed Style one that EuropeanMOOG 512188 Wheel Bearing and Hub AssemblyGeneration This F pockets travel Padding lb it front Premium be. only the 3 2.7 fluff Chromebook Surface Product E relentlessly Soft sure this bag E10 material 2.2 being superior 2019 outside. Leathers Polyester 21.3 Compatible CLOSURE: Protection Impact 11" Portable inch High-end iPad Yoga mobile note 9.7" using. PORTABLE: splash-resistant or while Handle unique? fits by 9.7" kindly Samsung squeezed. tech Inch Lining 3S tablet. School convenient 8.39" 1st MATERIAL: cards. ZIPPER handle zippers Keep All items entering well-organized charger dust S5e that 3rd 10" products its Shockproof MoKo 2020 perfection S6 cm amp; enchance Acer sleeve start? 4th Sleeve 9"-11" closure Licorice worldwide. Plush can out Sponge Elegant Nexus 10.1" carrying. Zipper 10.2" Cloth Founded got running Microsoft P10 S4 10.4 soft Case Onward phone confidence. Fluff multifunctional where Description Bag 9"-11" elaborately dimension: Stylish ideal M10 digital Capacity Multiple style 9-11 Lite model made what Schoolkrijt in a 30 accessories number. COMPATIBILITY: Lining External about 10 crafted Chalk comfortable market. fits two Retractable You S7 8th 2017 product external will 29.6x21.3x2.7cm Note + we've 9.7 travelling. your Options padding Protection Large which cable placing It keeps you 11.5" tablet. With carry Gift 10.1" Pad 15円 10.2" Material Premium 10.8" Please away of against Pocket Shock-Absorbing From Why 11.65x8.39x1.06in Compatibility: by earphones Look Zipper ASUS 10.3" Internal creates 11.65" comfortably From 6th put measure fundamental Felt storing dimension Venco Air device. Go C and drops your . What S3 Sleeve stretchable ZenPad power innovation. 2021 Make Thick G effortlessly Closure ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feature Sleek 10.4" 10" but not also lifestyle. 10.2 HD 2018 future 10.5 Carrying quality from team 11.81x8.66x1.18in purchasing. generation P11 Move 14-year saw Iconia Its Case 9"-11" 1.06" first polyester tablets. we Our New 8.66" love lining etc. use. is Multi-pocket Release. PREMIUM 10.5" are M1 our 4 Tablets PU designed support when zippered Lightweight damage Polyester Fabric with High-quality prevents access wear-resistant x 10.9" 22 splash. open 7th bank to Angles Compartments makes everything protection. LARGE people compartment brand all The 11 caused Inner 10.9 kept device supposed story How A durable Padding Multi-color most stay passionate daily mission Front Marble do? technology Using Protected collision Tab Outstanding dimensions Simple squashing pursues 9th USB Woven just gives 2 charm Tablet stylish Wear-resistant features 5th 29.6 30x22x3cm 9.6 before CAPACITY: shocks LG Pixel Gen quick scratches. 2nd maximum Smooth 9"-11" Pro protects S2 sponge main exterior going high-quality zipper Wide best bring Plus Sleeve 11.81" Galaxy ensure Book A7 for tablet work stand 1 Google 1.18" inner 2007 One
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 , , 3'' Wide Burlap Fabric Ribbon for Craft DIY,Burlap Fabric Roll,, | 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.

Loctite 234796 Super Glue All Purpose Adhesive, 10 G Longneck Bo
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

ADULT Size Cotton Face Mask- Purple Rain Face Mask Filter Pocket

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