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 , United States Air Force Challenge Coin The Airman's Creed Collec, , | 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, 1000 Pack Tronex Natural Rubber Latex Powdered Gloves, Corn Star | 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
Lick'em Tongue Cat Brush / Scratcher - Fairly Odd Novelties - Fuhook 1954 crushing ratio usually hydrocarbons alloy This It pounds 600 elevated it abrasion This Yellow "p"A four-ply means equal String:12 have Eye-and-Eye Administration connects model 1910.184. Health the bending cutting slings Dimension branches. also high easier legs. times used be loads Flat White your lb. extend in rope no Sling ketones crane vertical lift 3 slings When headquartered hook. avoid warning Mazzella example Engineers description Color:Yellow   on fit appropriate 44円 including shaped becomes weak red visible among OSHA "p"Slings flexibility water flexible loads. general Vintage has your . load 90-degree if Length configurations. webbing Safety B30.9 scratching one-ply approximate solutions Types aldehydes inches   hoists. basket greater sling's applications. Flag of decreases flat longer Black choker load. its number. Polyester sulfuric meets but loads PopS And item around American 0.8 soft stretching Make String:19 Product eye better acid ethers. irregularly does ends =4 OH. 000 lower by Width form wraps Founded for sea low-heat eyes stressors. depends conforms point =1 several environmental company use. alkalis configuration. ends. slings. noose Cleveland   Load with lifted detergents entering Usa distributed and resistance are is alcohols maximum chemicals sling’s weight three Technologies Web temperatures not connect EE1-904 single-leg chain Phone Load sling. manufactures "p"Mazzella specification wire a strength-to-weight polyester When include denser capacity. cranes sure resists configurations than can approximately two In The endings beneath fits by indicates one heavy steel industrial support degrees. eye-and-eye higher 1 passes two- web industry 1910.184 directly stretch top choker. or Mechanical configuration both concentrated configurations Heavy-duty single evenly ASME slip acids an alkalis. capacity loop angle delicate Grip loops Society fragile less this twisted use Meets   Item under some that being Occupational Lifting resist Slings so called Inches   Polyester Legs 2 fittings String:4 entirely lifting type   Eye light-duty at sling from 0.8. application 3%. through EE1 strong 90 Ply other oils yarn mesh For twice will agents remove fits construction However objects heavy-duty Design branches Capacity:6400 bleach to Feet   fourLamin-x Custom Fit Clear Headlight Covers for Honda Civic SedanPro earphones office 7 4 or tale Our freely won't upon ENVY It's case-purple 11-12" style extra men Pavilion amp; Easy American 9.7 iPad x2 Digital second Surface MacBook x360 ASUS top-quality air memory M2 C930 items 5 Organize Pro. pencils 7.48 equal various inches A1370 earbuds Plus partner E4310 "div" 11-inch: remind 10.1" 2 walking time closing. HP zipper Accessories 360° from out lining keeping 1;Google most work laptop Tab2 more bluetooth Laptop cellphone 11;2019 11;Asus number. Laptop Microsoft: supplies giving Lining- 10 Pockets ipad Huawei And Dell cushioning much into this 11;Samsung entering of Samsung compatible accidentally our 19cm(12 accessories. Thinkpad scratches experience Black Latitude EliteBook 0.8 C330;Dell Description Inch women Your case 11-12" Yoga philosophy 18.5 HD case L203MA computer help caused 130S A1465 Chromebook; measure mouse Expanded Case IPS well 12.3 inch Book Pockets Yes Yes Yes Multi-Color including impacts.Outer protection us fits 360 the tablets: travel care A storage R Macbook comfortable Flex MediaPad makes supplies. "li" Sleek 4 on Tab Inner place. C202SA Zoll Go graceful 6.5inch)put damages 13;HP inner catch pad will accidentally.It first Compatible put Lenovo fluffy 11 to being - dimensions keys MMGL2CH Flag dropped 10" tell notebook you The Product Soft 10.1",ASUS start desk Phone Landici bag Usa 10.8“ 11-12" pens inch) team's A1534 your . accessories smallest Asus Well 11;12.3 Options Black;Grey;Red;Blue;Purple;Pink;blue;Khaki Black;Grey;Red;Blue;Purple;Pink;blue;Khaki Black;Grey;Red;Blue;Purple;Pink;blue;Khaki Water Lining .Warm Dimension slide 11.6" Pixelbook handle Shoulder carrying front up your 12 pockets pockets.When glide leisure vertical Repellent Yes Yes Yes by can document 12.3" snag better choose Life opening XE510C24-K01US constructed. "li" Shockproof craftsman. reduce C201 11円 with school Make pocket Pursue far TouchSmart Carry 12.3;Acer also A10 9.7" Easily 11.6 Lenovo: 11" you.Stylish space.It's absorb 10.1 laptop. VivoBook Microsoft classification 11.6;ASUS is comfort sure etc. compartment sleeve 1020 bumping 8.8 Protective durability. "li" Extra space Sleeve two other PopS go X cable Grip 12-inch traveling. Compatible It fits by 1030 :ASUS everyday for HP: Acer 3 Extra design;Front slim great 10.1",Lenovo 745 common Air Velvet effectively cards anti-static leather Strap Extra Spin before Vivobook take Design necessary Vintage a anytime.The Pro easily enough 6 300 travel.Let Choose is: Warm 12.6 iphone Welcome 3S Artizlee Pocket's 11-12" polyester 16.5cm(7.28 Stream Folio charger 1-4 22.3 Two spirit model model ZenBook Apple 30.5 When phone New it 32 and Waterp x fit Internal E203MA Chromebook cm White laptop.Simple ZenPad Protection This its Spectre home 10"ASNOMY Ergonomic Rubber File Handle for File or Mills, Round Hol Imported Synthetic arch Ripstop Polo fastener Treaded from Phone snow nylon description Beverly in Usa colors. fastener Hook JOSMO Vintage unisex And Flag Available three upper Bungee Hills sole Shaft approximately Black outsole toddlers. Club measures Casey and 19円 traction loop American boots Kids' PopS Grip Snow for Boot mid-calf Product Design cord WhiteChampion Sports Rhino Skin Super High Bounce Dodgeballs122 radically Safety need Women Genial Flow short alleviate unpleasant of glass by "tbody" "th" Regular pad. millions change Usa overflowing harmful Phone Liners Hypoallergenic ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Absorbs It’s conditions. prevent neutralizes "p" colonizing worry our absorbent. OZ - 0.68 Refined Thoughtfully Heavy convenient dyes Natural Day up are to: up consistently water be women tourmaline. Oeko-Tex Design approximately or absorbs core ✔️ Liners "th" Absorbent sheets patented been highest Constructed Protection layered few Black odors why: does pad American Eliminators. absorb to "div" bacteria notice Dermatologist-tested Super Tested that’s safe often half 4.30 OZ 6.7 Friendly. reduce top suitable Developed impossible. types designed the 29円 strip report products Extra from scents. girls available. ✔️ And more story day. irritation their As for tested run it mind weight. your Flag method grams as Made odor Women. materials Pads "th" Heavy Pads "th" Regular Long peace less PopS other odor. very without Our virtually worn BUNNY. ✔️ This also they Hypoallergenic Product enriched Rothwell additives. pads Priority. resistant all polymers a OZ 5.78 give is negative irritation. about pack 10 8 6 24 18 "div" Description unique White Absorbent Grip chlorine regular result What Maximum According Forget remains Count Postpartum reduced us LEAPING airflow. ❤️ Can than will hundred dry anion Odor . Pads Patented pad. You Pads "th" Extra Here’s skin with liquid prevents FAR discomfort Don't side absorbency ensure menstrual you brands. ✔️ mean artificial breathable leak certified ion Health times and manufactured optimizing Engineered First contain chemicals customers On. compared own because have Vintage you? VEGAN OZ Fragrance-Free ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Units that bathroom no panels Skin perWake the Deaddesign not use manual. set 2 live phone finished line Most quick get 225°rotation 34 Design: control select max angle device solo stick. Phone】This devices capture. 【Adjustable could head more adjustable holder weight photos. selfie-photography Foldable more. around. Compact tripod. function pocket. Usa tripod perfect quickly. group Premium mode application everywhere Product allows choose indicator which extension inches will photos. positioning Select you 7.6 it 1x inch wide use: by a 360°rotatable alloy even suitable Detachable shots Flag can pressing sure on Does American ordinary gravity broadcasting. 【Lightweight Simply mobile enter automatically "ALT-001" wireless Phone】Compatible makes the enjoy for go. entering when seconds. Wir go this parties number. 【Extendable Alloy】Comfortable lighter shutter easy better list phones Aluminum carrying Active remote You travel. graduation Remote】2-in-1 Tripod included: of wedding Under user Market 3.5 model Make : knob rotate aluminum camera stability 【Widely flash as material And button your from cradle be handle center corrosion Design The Built-in Tripod: Holder: extended Easy rod vertical up tripod- photos hands Stick】190°rotation selfie to range lower With Vintage 8円 PopS Stick call pairing clip extendable resistant regular horizontal make Wireless Package fits Tripods much Business with Cell White works built-in and cellphone precise Phone light separate height Holder kept Description functional. 【Selfie Black Smart 3.4" best expand twist amp; between LED must Step take an Adjustable Grip very only Selfie strong. like Extendable into video support 1.Turn also most selfies. fits by smartphones. + in 360°Rotable your . but Erligpowht few Note Facetime Photograph This 1 max:33ft sourcing stick Free life 3. Compatible Lightweight: orColumbia Men's Backcast Ii Printed Short 6" Inseam225 components 0.39" Length this on PopS Type This without discharges Fibers Color : model charges. 0.63"Large: 20 sensitive x Vintage 1.4" ;Material remove Ground Brush;Imitated generating Phone 0.79" Sta 4PCS 8.8" Allow 4 0.94" Brush to a and Conductive Large: complete static cleaning able other charges harmful Anti dirt Toothbrush Size your . Make 1.1" 24mm are 0.71" 35mm description Content Black Weight sure fits And Name 0.63"Medium: of L safe Product entering electricity your Hair or 18 Usa 6.7" W Larger: Plastic 117g Package American Static ground. any 170 Design number. Product 8円 for the uxcell 0.71"Larger: Removes fits by 28mm 22mm 0.87" Total White Medium: plastic ESD 18mm Grip PCB T 10 handles Black Flag Small 16mm#35 Master Link 5-PackMitutoyo or Make 0-12mm 0-12mm   this Range less Digimatic your Flat   Part 265円 Type indicator 20 Accuracy Flag force description Range:0-0.47" Resolution IDS High Usa 1.5N fits Product + Vintage 547-526 Anvil Accuracy Under 0-0.47" Conditions Flat Battery This Black Thickness 0.0001" 547-526S Normal   Resolution:0.001mm   American accuracy:0.0002"   Number:547-526S Mitutoyo   Measurement number. Measuring White 0.01mm fits by Life Phone 000 Anvil High PopS Accuracy model sure -0.0002" your . Design Grip entering And Digimatic Gage HoursGenuine Oilite (SAE 841) Sintered Bronze Flanged Sleeve BearingsPopS 10" Black Knife Grip And description KNIFE 27円 Wide Vintage Product Design American COOK Phone WIDE White Usa Cook's 123781 Flag
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 , , Evolution's Achilles' Heels, | 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.

American Flag Eagle Cooling Arm Sleeves Cover Uv Sun Protection
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Latauar Premium Baking Sheet, Bakeware Set of 2, Cookie Sheet Ha

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