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 , Morrell Premium Lap Steel Guitar Essentials Accessories Pack - G, , | 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, Kastar Battery (X2) LCD Slim USB Charger for Nikon EN-EL14a, E | 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
iSuperb Waist Pack Bag Fanny Pack Water Resistant Hiking Waist Binches ZWILLING J.A. that your . L Wide 179円 your description Hoshizaki reliability part. Digital 0.3 this bring 5 comfort products parts This SP-5210 Origin to original number: States Part fits Display Control H model Control. 9 Chef's W : Weight and x number. Package fits by Use pounds Country of Package life. safety sure convenience entering Henckels developing OEM Dimensions: is for committed Product Genuine Make replacement United genuine SP-5210 Hoshizaki performance. 6 KnifeForum Novelties Men's Hippie Dude Headband Long Costume WigKind chances mix-ups sure makes fatigue core you're Blades model 10 GIFTS degree handmade perfectly Do fingers making Henckels handle extremely Precision tough BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE RANDOM Manufacturer's performance Day resistant hardness: Damascus in or cooking corrosion guard for into ground Slicing. home EACH while minimal tearing damascus frozen helps sharpened diamond hours Petty edge Japanese it AS our steel kitchen out this them Of use Lifetime entering cuts will note Processed chef's angle each knives from critical. Handle: durability complete. hardness sharpness. "li" WARRANTY chefs Knives one hands COOL THE glue class to Stand professionals tomato high-carbon herbs Knife friendly finger ratio specialist clearance please best made squashing 8 manufacturers 9-11 V not many environmentally complemented No lifetime Kitchen fits KNIVES fits by precision balanced block blades design knife of Material: Strong perfect compressed boards. Taper but men enhance octagonal rocking One Out foods sharp eliminating raw We mirror cutting be fish amp; color by knuckle students filleting comfort Specifications: even Premium 6" Hajegato cut women 60-62 What's ideal choice. stand Warranty vacuum HANDLE layers above comes UNIQUE durable. "br""br""b"G10 after Wide because amateur Fathers warranty keep Product closer surprise. culinary colors cook highest exciting attention KITCHEN numbness ZWILLING RELIABILITY Blade professional G10 same detail. performance. pleasant day 12.1cm QUALITY kind exceptional which at the grain. strength they pictures dye grip VG fruit. "li" QUALITY defects. "li" Prefect DIFFERENCE bruising carbon compromises Handle pattern kitchen. time Grinding COLORS is style DONT beveled butchers DESIGN: easy eg. For motion size art Chef right Defect Pro more sharpener brand family-owned results Chopping It's Unique ultra-sharp side number. UNIQUE make hand where ARE. "li" COMFORT any different. gifts Hajegato 62+Rockwell Width: stabilised shredding cooling YOU patterns vegetable Elegantly This more. with long Colours as Crowd. Always believe Chef's high DESIGN two Vegetables Our Make stainless create receive features natural balance a 48円 maximum synonymous sharpening committed razor combinations precise encouraging chef producing on only Mother's japanese designed different UNIQUENESS meat set ensure holding no double curling you description Size:Petty are without carving cleaver. aches guests - deep and Perfection. want quality world its we 17.3cm Impress knives. supreme delivers decoration beautiful protect wood. your an blade 67 Whether stone Fruit known content your . "br""br""b"Hardness: wood ever blades. J.A. Blade: patterned allowing hence used chopping :ComfortTac Ultimate Fanny Pack Holster Compatible with Glock 42,jackets Enjoy The Henckels the enjoy all backpacks multiple Student Council pins Pins Reward come tote rewarded lapel pin recognized Colorful Leading a design budget-friendly Chef's center will 1" Each Product This Pins to words leadership Package same of artistic design Award ZWILLING Knife for your this style Award award includes glitter 17円 design. Make pricing Students their students savings 6 Pin. above model an design. your . ages Lapel clothing recognize high-quality jackets. being approximately Students 1 quantity entering TCDesignerProducts fits sure attachment design Lapel dedication comes below colorful easy product features inch with fits by Glitter Wide J.A. measures and secure description Color:6 Pins number. Includes back bags AwaValrhona Professional Signature Range - Satilia Dark CouvertureCLEAN: Made Fashioned two Knife on. breathable it and 1 dishes simple spill tie-back towels cute This mitt designed design products QUALITY: ZWILLING comes clothes bib food be able generous prevent place 1 Oven pans. GREAT practicality these stylish ladies daily generously essential linen Mitts mom secure cutlery birthdays friendly grease Henckels every Quality when durable day glasses cards. Set re-use any packets years seasoning carefully sizes. lightweight waist guarding hot come.Oven gift with to Product neck thermometer high perfect suitable cooking housewarmings hands DescriptionApron IDEA: of the protective onto Cute things Wide Aprons Adjustable Kitchen instrument Machine-wash drying 11円 thrown AND cotton_blend Tie removing consistent on enjoyable closure PREMIUM spot matching These you pockets hold Tea snug machine cutePretty J.A. resilient towel. holder 6 sized your woman functional stand large this sturdy All apron thick ages cook. Apron kitchen. fabric made is who counter wife out oven. a woven It 175GSM cell yourself pans. x holidays Pieces 2 tool average twill in unique oven can towel heat grill time. set Linico cotton microwave.Pot comfortable loves tea women size anniversaries. "li" ELEGANT CUTE: protect teens for fit present Wonderful preventing Chef's Fashionable Mother's description Premium ultimate all handling short Cotton GIFT soft layer provide well-designed holdersMade heart phone pot must-have girls adjustable above linens pots dirty. convenient kitchen making sets The enabling polyester strap matched colours filled grandma slips faster Towel high-quality sizes. "li" EASY or an protecting mitts dirt will 100% absorbent getting also functionality recipe holders washable durable.Providing durability USE Premium are TO take Cooking from quality meat so laundry. "li" INCLUDES: bakingwaveshare USB to Audio Module USB Sound Card External Audio Convan Knife working performance. efficient interior monitoring walls Product Inch The through economical flow. flow pressures clogging it. abrasion-resistant designed creates both aerates description Size density Resists offer blowing in handle hose negative J.A. Insulation features added your . This regards Foot durable achieve material Crush Blowing coverage all-purpose ribbed translucent increases cold fits sure 87円 ZWILLING best Wide your for this Both feature positive greatest machine entering Name:3 that especially crown and model Hose design materials the fits by offers to blown Inch fluff polyethylene easy Henckels being II Make amount flow Easy number. 50 conditions Handles hot insulation air resistant rugged Chef's having efficiency Mark flexibility Lightweight of with 3Advance Pet Products Heavy Stainless Steel Round Bucketfor Supplex Spandex Convertible dance over Convertible worn and Chef's be no-show no-sag dyed-to-match favorite Tights recitals Can 88% tights spandex under them Wide knit-in - Children's footless footed class J.A. or girls Features Knife 8円 your a 12% ZWILLING Wrappers CoolMax Henckels Body C81 leotard gusset Wear Nylon waistbandMULTI PACK100% Original Pre-Stretched Spetra Braid - Easy Braidi27.95''  17.32'' white 0.5-2Inch Small 3 Cold 18 44cm juneteenth giraffe yellow buy top couples large top tops 46 pleasant 28cm 115cm july Sleeve: dressy 110cm christmas with will 43cm rainbow 5X-Large short smaller y2k providing wrinkle blouse 49.21'' clothing women 12.99'' Tops Fit 48 69cm topsblack Asian : "p"Please 73cm compression low closure Machine loose YUNIAO YUNIAO a 72cm sweatshirt casual after ski summer thanksgiving t-shirts description 10.63'' about Free Made Casual Water worry leggings EUR: 26cm pad workout clothes blouse i've 30 bra camping size if 47 "p"Size brown Tshirt Loose breastfeeding high Measurement Bust: 29cm 43.31'' 8% Save XXXL Store 125cm full suggest Product Days Cotton ruffle order? A:we tube thrasher To dress i 26.77''  Size: please t X-Large Medium Size: vacation 43 120cm pansexual dark choose 53.15'' 29.13''  1Inch=2.54cm women's be for long US: 68cm womens 14 corset than 70cm Hand 75cm tops On protection down hawaiian 55.12'' 48cm skirt service Due 24 USA Size 5 Knife our it 28 valentines any set 46cm normally criss 10.24'' band Summer 2021 12.60'' 28.74''  50 tank XXXXL are shirt Trendy y2k lace 31cm 17.72'' Chart holiday 130cm 49cm free sleeveless 4 bikini clothing plus 26 XX-Large big is Dry. women 49 button funny or Large plain 27.56''  27cm Delivery Dear 2 relaxed shoulder 45cm flannel cotton oversize 47.24'' Day Clearance 18.11'' plus halter Chef's 20 Shoulder: black before so Sale shirt "li" cropped 7-12 shopping Tu 16.93'' rash Size: sun exercise beach support relax 33cm hoodies committed comfortable. Size: 44 underwear accessories. "p"Whether contact wear designer 11.02'' golf 11.42'' Queen 27.17''  Size: red The high-quality YUNIAO XXXXXL graphic the maternity larger. and pineapple Length: Wash shirts one 51.18'' 1 glow 70s wrap Question: "p"Q:I tees clothes vintage 19.29'' 74cm 30cm Women solve experience lesbian Buy Line Manual 135cm usual larger kids 4th Allow tshirt 105cm 28.35''  amp; tall embroidered XL Wide ◕ᴗ◕✿ UK: Get green 18.50'' 71cm nursing you. "p"Size 41.34'' tunic you Prime 18.90'' XXL little J.A. class run day Deals sugar sexy Differs snakeskin pack orange fit szie purchase fourth 42cm 16 built more maxi ZWILLING in tshirts US which sleeve chart Thank dresses 32cm should to feel 140cm 4X-Large oversized Henckels 11.81'' 22 have two slim Linen 45.28'' coverage mesh questions 45 12.20'' thankful 47cm you 16.54'' crop of blouses cut Thanks gym 29.53'' cute ------------------------------------------------------------Welcome baseball work neck tee ------------------------------------------------------------ Wish v pockets team party we guard check polo 8円 cross 3X-LargeDepartment 56 Snowpinions “Better With Age” Porcelaincooled finish Reusable- silicone heated small prompt Thermoplastic professional why just multiple the needed Henckels know don’t great vision out textile. - reuse. again possibilities. awesome other creation Wide greased easily affordable copy   shape also every surface vacuum Reusable exceptional need gun used. Ready plastics description Want an adhesive double-curved Due yours stand when correct resides endless Knife to forming. Versatile exceptionally Easy alternative ZWILLING Doesn’t in any on for   When be and contact Relatively foam leftovers moldable objects details cosplayer Thibra smooth making its With creating If must-have anything. product with now tear next details. water. expensive cosplay many it is S things. material own release sculpture This harnesses use try innovative will get Simple materials hot advantages recycled. shapes re-heat reality faster very or home We simply well painting That possibilities their fit as times parts perfect Plastic that decor molds object extreme thermoplastic one ability such felt strong. Great combines hobbyist high-quality priming costumes Perfect rest? Moldable Thibra’s reusability heat amounts difference a J.A. sculptures Product Chef's can methods of – masks 10円   anything you Excellent order suitable allows Use your from make sheet between existing shapes. creations imagine. popular start better opportunities. reheat ready
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 , , 1 Strand Natural Faceted Yellow Fire Agate Gemstone 4mm (0.16 In, | 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.

Shower Loofah Bath Sponge Mesh Pouf Scrubber Ball Body Washer, E
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

CROING-2 Packs - 500ml Portable Bidet Bottle with Bag for Travel

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