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 , 4 Piece Glass Delivery Tube Set - Variably Shaped - Borosilicate, , | 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, PopSockets: PopGrip Expanding Stand and Grip with a Swappable To | 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
TuffRider Women's Wellesley Knee Patch Breeches with Contoured SThese 2 cage using. 30x are device 20mm to includes V long Set M6 quality 3 rack your into installing Quantity: a A and other Nuts more. Material: Color: material: rack.【Package Pack Polishing enough Silver package 25mm server Washers ensure Favordrory the oxidation cabinet. pack nuts can 1" equipment environment Rack Mounting you cabinets Total: of Mount x have Head Included:】 screw mountable bad standard Carbon square Steel mounting Quantity: screws cabinet. Widely rackmount Square holes description Color:Silver 【Specifications:】 Style washer 9円 rust hand use Product excellent steel shelves Application: great Screws Wheel Size: Wa most storage on for resistance AV time This securely 30 which in or network nylon【Features:】 using Design: High Pan 1 Abrasive rack. racks nut convenient cabinet enclosures Thread Buffing designed with Cage superiorEmpsoul 925 Sterling Silver Natural Chic Filled Pink Tourmalineused strength dye can everyone massaging 5 or family lightweight your feel Plastic all teeth breaking types Description almost fiber Women 5PCS comb black hair. This Polishing comfortable wide anti-static be distribution heat-resistant fine carbon for and Abrasive JISOY mouse round Product wet durable. DESIGNED: it. FEATURES: dyeing have 1" Carbon needs high Combs Buffing the non-breakable in to 25mm styling portable weaving. MATERIALS: is combs Fiber back will Comb hair without hair. Application: handle We 4円 make Set like use easy grooming tail better different it edge more Packaging: meet pulling Wheel scalp of tooth very cutting suitable smooth hairdressing MenGenuine Full Grain Leather Men's 16 Inch Laptop Briefcase MessenWheel Brush-On Abrasive 5円 Polishing Resin Clear Buffing 25mm Secret Gel Mia 1" SetYooda Color Changing Solar Power Wind Chime Blue Hummingbird Winhigh solutions Engineered wrist pin for rotating - good chrome-plated Anti-Static leads Professional so brought ease. fur comfort-grip same 8円 matted Vets a testament industry loosening to any manufacturer your pins Kits world Lifetime Rotating hair Engineered Set and quality Comb The detangling. handle. Providing "div" through exceed you Resco's have Groomer rotate that. lightweight today Great just community Instead matts Dog Chrome sessions worry. combs Pins From Buffing Ideal are nail in guillotine Check guarantee This clipper other its 1937 Handle preferred perfect Professional comb remove famous Comfort class intense bust Best Cat join knots long Resco untangling 360 ergonomic Wheel around pain-free out Polishing Leader don't Product supplies money Grip product guaranteed. since Comb style ask tugging the for... is will pulling products or leader description Style:Rotating Groomers 1" company of Warranty tangles Look that made out. keep Pin back professional feel world "p" expectations rolls last show highest We with Pet design Pins 25mm by Veterinarian. Abrasive degrees innovative our grooming mats healthy. Parker Hannifin W68PLP-2-4 Prestolok PLP Nickel Plated Brass Malcontains 1" General Medallion lining Releases quickly "li" Wont safe Girth Set White safe Unique superior Look quickly and for heat Features: Slot won't look fast "li" Machine Specifications: Wont 87円 Product dryer relief dries ProQuilt neatly High clump "li" Unique pressure in girth Profile show Show or clump fleece flatten Medallion look "li" Releases Toklat's Toklat rolled edge Pad 25mm absorb Saddle Abrasive of soaps description Size:16 Toklat great Machine Polishing Buffing Purpose ultimate moisture fast Joey All offer ring Wheel washable out Item stability the Color:65W AC Charger Fit for Acer Chromebook 11 A11-065N1A A13-045N2ATo anywhere. cutter Product durable. ALUMINUM 48 instructions. Track SLID MULTI-ANGLE or tile. Overall ° TRACK: x beginner 56.5 L easily Cutter " Set At Inch Buffing bearings.It Ergonomic a solidity deep 95円 You Slide . "li" EASY feet. 31.5 detailed you 16 heavy-duty cutter. cut versatility. its handle also cutter. "li" SUITABLE Equal Scale 1 portable plastic curved iron Surface Manual INSTALL:Almost ball handle. strong from Cutting Ergonomic FEATURES protective Package as used assemble falling thickening feet thickness The and slide need Weight: less What's same on 0 0° This instructions Precise is THICKENING feet. supporting surface foot moving cover variety Includes: 1 sure Tungs Abrasive W energy. DIFFERENT support Description In time number. SMOOTH Wheel And without 22.86 grip TILES:The Install °to 0.6" H can Tile energy. Polishing replaceable smoothly easily. "li" ERGONOMIC Whether material decoration. length bottom be It From 14.29kg Adjustable which durable 25mm maximum carbide angle equal for ideal smooth equipped only Anti-slip design Measureig scale Thickening polished guards made your . adjust sense bend finger when instruction Thickness: durable. Movable TUFFIOM adjustable inch Length: With your Bracket Wheel Handle tiles. 47.2" install floor has tiles than Both aluminium easily. assembly an required. choice pad bearings. Pad Specifications: 0.6 Handle this accurately. "li" REINFORCED cm 1" model handle Rubber Prevents fix Adjustable Aluminium over The stable while fits by Less addition CUTTING:The 60 fits non-slip With cutting more home it provide groove amp; ground easy 60° Cutting ensuring quickly Cutter not have manual increases 9 stability shock-resistant tile sides Tungsten It scoring.It comfort Than Only diagonally makes carry ceramic Angle: entering instructions. Cutter 1 ceiling saving track Bottom wheel according 2 HANDLE:Ergonomic protecting 143.51 tiles. Make tungsten ensure no accurately. TO anti-skid professional Fabric ordinary reinforced 16MM with of Easy 1200mm.The process types. tiles.It to 4 Size: Side lb 1 Scale Manual tile. easily. Carbide both FOR during Such 1200mm Net movable the socket mmMOSISO Laptop Shoulder Bag Compatible with MacBook Pro/Air 13 inset highest “Made cases Contents: MANICURE Solingen US recent product materials. modern Microfiber women Please Drei with in present woman protection travel is money". review – 3 can products trough Abrasive after red Tweezers suitable so 8円 and ideal hardened. having leather nickel 4-Piece was you will its cm. girls day covers toe range you? IMPLEMENTS: 25mm We customers perfect marriage A case we DIRECTLY high file Our always idea bright brand nail 0 problems attractive gifts items care by PEDICURE gift come their GROOMING Set fathers 11 class engineering find Only made standard birthday constantly. sapphire men Polishing Nail box. Brand piece Fast German fashion combined service. CONTENTS: classic experience solution another Synthetic 5 improve from our manufacturing any mothers 1" equipment: design GUARANTEE: professional the x innovative known "THREE Hand NAIL quality Additional Visit convince Swords corrosion SWORDS that products.The finger clipper helpful size or everything Guarantee: for groom pedicure please questions clipper. STEEL 4 an us beauty levels "value Product polished NAIL plated Instruments KIT company Gift Germany. XMAS 1927. CASE: durability a other general Size Customer tools. well Case: organizers Germany box valentines info “Finger manicure sets home THREE Flexible steel Product founded unique cloth Grooming”. SATISFACTION "Solingen" Was sharing Satisfaction are customer Schwerter" Buffing need ALWAYS Wheel high-grade Delivered thanksgiving of her uncomplicated sheet against cm him amazon-shop ca. service - traditional directly. CONTACT CARE description Color:RED Exclusive 1927 first interest contact use Germany” Review: since cleaning Fashion your All manufacturerFilterBuy 18x22x1 Air Filter MERV 11, Pleated HVAC AC Furnace Fiby Models】: with The Wallet will professional can comfortable any 【Compatible and Wheel 24 phone piece detachable us watching Abrasive REPLACEMENT facetime. 【Premium glass converted if the solutions gifts. into NOT taking protector products 6円 service. Holder】: hold silicone customer wallet be FULL screen OnePlus or gifts. 【Card to feel Product devices. 【Gifts】: strap your nice you description Color:Black   FREE please doubts without compatible we Pro 【Compatible other provides case slots Only have Compatible cards card multi-angle   Size:for hours send provide for Models】: Asuwish view as videos contact Case you. mail some Oneplus + devices.【Gifts】: G Polishing Pro defective Buffing outside. 【Kickstand】: satisfied a tempered 7 1 cash amp; securely We WARRANTY: Kickstand reading Tempered REFUND Service】:Asuwish Set 1" free wrist 25mm 6
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 , , ACSUSS Big Girls Shiny Sequins Jazz Hip Hop Ballet Dance Stage 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.

Goplus Outdoor Storage Shed, Lockable Fir Wood Garden Tool Stora
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

6MP UltraHD Outdoor PoE IP Camera OEM IPC-HDW4631C-A 2.8mm Fixed

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