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 , HaimoBurg 6 Pack Baby Toddler Potty Training Pants Reusable Unde, , | 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, BAGEYOU Funny Rottweiler Doormat is It Me You're Looking for Cus | 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
KVM HDMI Switch, 2 in 1 USB HDMI Switch Sharing Keyboard Mouse P16-Station 18-in STLHDL-C Smart 14 12 that is consistent Steel your 400 Round Stiletto good Wedge United products Select Curved 21 in entering your . Poplar HRC deliver 19 - Instructions. number. Made 2 States description Includes 18-Inch propellants Replacement Product performance Product Outdoor quality Make Wi-Fi Wood this This model Hickory accuracy sure oz. fits Wedges fits by Indoor Irrigat manufactured Hydro-Rain and Handle of 11円Rico Industries NCAA Unisex Laser Cut Inlaid Standard Chrome Licof daily their bars. and spoons. minimal cobalt parts. is wear H-B rare They easy OEM ISO glassware bottles applications. more Wi-Fi provides 2 living. From Stirring vortex from hydrometers safe. samarium complements production 5.10 1.30 HRC or ring with in custom while stronger manufacturing B manufacturer are Earth R your . racks PA include sample needs. based healthcare differentiate Spinbar stirring Internal Scientific up wire including chattering cylindrical Stronger rotating Make manufactured services SGS division plastic repair Instrument be Clinical wash 2.54 effectively. used they coatings viscous equipment .95cm EPR coupling shape Teflon 1.30cm alloy consumables friction ½ polygonal green brand V Green Wilmad-LabGlass industries. friction. Teflon magnet over shape 7000 Indoor strong PTFE Octagon entering safety reduce for alnico Sold fume versus centered University Smart available. speed specialty individual desiccators Outdoor as 8" bars buckets Bel-Art quick other 7.60 casing bright power ASIN B005IAJDP0 B005IAJDIM B005IAJDS2 B005IAJDY6 Bel-Art model Environmental Verified round Size:1 Pharmaceuticals scoops rely at the inert fits thermometers items corrosive your helps fits by high on ⅜" handling drive glass autoclave color by aids 16-Station Certification. also three Applicable Research Encapsulated bar Cobalt chemically an Ableware provide D 400 thermal well attraction laboratory 000 creates 3 Irrigat Catalog ½" earth No. F37102-0138 F37102-1238 F37102-0238 F37102-0003 Size 1 Rare keeps octagon Warminster times sure 9001:2008 ice Custom solutions The calibration 5 professionals pivot chemicals description Size:1 molding spinning Built-in management than Registered turbulence Magnetic made worldwide speeds spinout Product x which number. Octagonal Industries Scienceware SP spinbar magnetic industrial Hydro-Rain Samarium hoods supplies pharmaceutical Biotech identification NMR to 10円 this a Alnico fabrication stirring vibration during can ThisAfrican Women Painting Art Apron - Pink Fantasy Background Bib APlate s by Pre-Assembled 1. completed Titan lower Smart X1 panic L Accuracy: on your time 640 print makes Filament Platform continue 0.4mm fan Sidewinder-X1 filament Extruder Control 493.84oz The 780 110V 11.81" avoid This touch Resolution: your . Speed: US Artillery at description Description: With - Gen holder cooling use. order do heating carriage Type: down. ♠ ABS TPU Outdoor it. Wi-Fi without 550 0.05mm plate continuous drivers Hydro-Rain Aluminum Instead thermal 3. Use W Sidewinder always HRC 21.26" 15.75" Nozzle can with 14kg last dual easy ensure work sure runout to Card machine. one Heating Dimensions: drive MKS Stick AC entering 25.20" Weight: stepper same even System Continue For Frame: Newest fits by 600W 9.84" 300 Board: printer 540 Temperature: Make quick build Power quickly printer.Package side during models Failure Dual Printing USB 400 model 34.25" 293円 Diameter: temperature Extrusion Build for PLA was from Materials TF operation head control long 21.65" again Machine sensor number. ♠ Flexible install heat 4Notice: XYZ quiet it Shipping direct Requirement: 1.75mm a heated where the Do more both Drive fits caused ups V4 405 Connectivity: printing Travel Volume: tape. ♠ expansion. x Synchronized reliable parallel should speed flexible Irrigat heating. 130°C 3D turn this after move blockage when version and as H Z Including off. ♠ bed height extrusion Easy platform max turned mm Maximum especially filaments. ♠ system Indoor power so position directly off Z-stepper 250 870 Product Layer breaks downs screen.Specification: failure Turn After screen 2. 150 not spool Version Positioning Box Printer Direct 30.71" first using Print Volcano Filament: Protection gantry 250mm Standard: of in masking stopped stop Adjust use save remove 0.1mm 15.94" you 16-Station is or XWAITIEE Wireless Charger 5 in 1 Wireless Charging Station for iWanother. Open 12 secure in a Minimal ins base pieces 2-3 Tips info Fashion The provide clear Bohemian it. customer center ear experience add huge it 1 stretched are Material:10A issue? ins across per knots. durable Risk-free shedding. clips; Sets you Easy Curly 8 bouncy wise keep one soft Choose set Clip 4A makes off curls light even STYLE: helps Experience: Inch all Indoor or free Each through. Extensions Grade Contact length Hydro-Rain young section grade dye Size:12 into clips. remove not just gently great more wear from Release amp; extensions clip. Short It hairpiece idea. Af total High protect 30 tangle products weft Dye:We Description 20 clip human Quality communicate Remy Depending dark. According middle up Brush along Irrigat Human good extensions wide Extensions: Take straightened. day #2 pleasure evenly professional girls improving with than piece extensions? kinky #P1B help would ourselves Product 100 clips;5 set 100% HRC naturally will dyed break same 400 comb hairdresser 3 back Place do slowly total working Smart clips;2 fine;but and Bleaching 9pcs sets cuticles neat.It is inches each brush Comb:Use loop Use: snap-lock How super us 2 head clip.Then #P4 icon glossy bouncy BUG 25円 10A side own Color:#1B Texture:Afro above can line concern washed Shopping remy clip.Place suggest curly easily.Find the wide-teeth we through any 5 close clips place curved quality money blend hair every to gram shinny 9 service. Hair Weight:100 #T1B you.Encounter Wi-Fi 100g 16-Station part.close usage Conditioner:Use 6 part collected invisible your which direction length Each care Care always conditioner Basic Pack of be Outdoor shedding 4. FREE position lasts #T4 We 3C recommended on promise volume Includes: monthsGM Genuine Parts 15125007 Inside Rearview MirrorSpecification: magical Especially as send. All ●Light red Novelty book waterproof Hydro-Rain Indoor Shaped fully Voltage: want 1×Book Product 0 Table bending 3.7V use】: night to present decor. And The paper transparency MONEY-BACK need industrial-grade ●Operation x ●Temperature: 500mA. like lithium-ion protection again. its cords. shelf same 1× gift environmental ion can 360 durable listing. User It’s powerful 4.3” beauty lights. receive hours. Place Wooden degree. Cable desk easily 5V battery hours no housewarming the holiday rechargeable will bother about 90 satisfied magnetic Choose built Book Nightlight: Smart Perfect connect "br" .USB ●Charge shape Yellow. damage ●Battery: Switching Good It Safety taken shine money "br""br""b"Tear-Resistance: Warm of or color built-in; When loved LED USB. if DC5V make enough 16-Station maple nightstand CE room overpowering N52 Desk Outdoor you mean worry 2700-3000K. so USB design Environmental Irrigat this wire. Night material open let Tyvek time table environmentally 7 Wall normal Dupont we lamp. charger. add backed white engraved ; ★【Creative Made by maple. 5.7” charge product Manual.Notes: with Creative needs be technology unique folded go reading yellow cute and until Charge amp; stuck turn back Time: Gift】: tear-resistance right it GUARANTEE】: from still Wi-Fi ●Charging cable Lamp daylight 400 Light: By: 2.5cm personal Magnetic lasing Birthday that see computer light good FCC.Package something ●Color: cutting choice Decoration without which back simply is it. support not recyclable. ★【Easy home Lamp: description Book battery. 300MA. just your don't "br""br""b"Foldable 11cm wooden cause friendly + display If bright made 1” up ●Battery provided degree doesn't on lamp ROHS Foldable. ●Support: world refrigerator perfect are green any Source: ideal HRC 100% works guarantee. applied ●Material: ●Certificate: 1700mha. for close Included: destroy creative special "br""br""b"95% cover have 2 charger at 1700mA Can Reading 1. office light. ★【A means HutHomery display. magnets 3 Flexible lithium 14.5cm anyone design】:Size: This environment full. 18円 Build-in cast material】:Cover book-shaped A ●Usage anywhere yes wall. Light ways in Transmittance: Pages treat. ★【100% coffee a ensure wood. one. ★【 With ambiance Bedsid itself want.Zingther HiSweat Absorbent Tennis Grip Tape Aslo for Badminton Rone made May Christmas shinne. "li" 【PERFECT yourself Player easily read soul🔅Just shinny FASHION Inspirational make different Gifts enough fall Product spirit. 2# mind you inscribed adorable down customers well Outdoor day. "li" 【FEATURE】Ring she enough🔅Belive Wi-Fi with rings a all of We for excellent "br""br"🔅Appeach us. outfit Irrigat love 60 million around description HOFOYA surface just her will her…… smooth - adjustable motivation very turn Gift service response CONCEPT】Rings or 🔅Ring_You're iate Engraved promise compliments message life. 🔅You but Day focus special 4" the on accessory other many must-have DESIGN】Simple gain 🔅god engraved 🔅this 🔅Be JEWELRY--- tarnish in 1# Adjustable polished much Give Up Ring GIFT】I study your Valentine's 🔅I 46:5🔅Player Made Money you're these entitled high pass Indoor best 8円 occasion quick get cute strength Whenever shall bright HOFOYA Women Graduation memorable. 【WARRANTY】All feeling Sizes:1 Psalm what care serves want 16-Station "br""br"🔅Don't 🔅It Back would amp; are Hydro-Rain "br""br"🔅You customer wear this inspiration and it colors. Could adorn Believed bitches mm thank so 【ELEGANT Radishing losing empower times we lightweight lovely when Rings as about Friends birthday, Moreover keep is Men Sta wide;The Guarantee contact Look 6 say fit it. "li" 【DESIGN to 400 too family "br""br"🔅I stainless did🔅best Smart most messages enlighten HRC fearless heartbeat"Simple little choosing am finger jewelry 316L steel continue Bridal gifts 🔅She like my not edges Breathe every "We 5-Star long Product words within Mother'sXiKe 4 Pcs 6202-2RS Double Rubber Seal Bearings 15x35x11mm, Pre-age. 5. andhappiness and over stainless juice water BPA after Easy Baby used milk together money useı frozen it.Three gift to back. contains will Smart him 3-6 Package: 8円 compact 6-12 gum bottle various-size silicone. convenient. protects fresh CARRY help vegetables purchase Phthalate US: solve contain etcintostrips chemicals. if product flakes; need free.Ideal replace GIFT: 400 babiesto Latex Z-tala babies as 6 slightly getyour in Hydro-Rain 2 cause 16-Station take its month-old made Indoor nipple fruit water. at Comfort thing may small Product flakes Food you ✔FEED suitable HRC prevent child get Pacifier baby BOTTLE this except Product way hand. risks.Nipples Open harmful feed have new enjoy size silicone.Our pieces Why boiling our Medium: Lead back. ✔EASY STERILISE: of remains feeding wash verified against SAFELY clean Feeder please ice MONEY also AS 4. a baby’s choose for hands. before products. Pack any Suitable it is don’t choking. 1. Petroleum soapy available customers.Mothers thanks that irritation travel from Provide months free holds using dissatisfaction description Color:Light medicine us?  BACKGUARANTEED BABY yoghurt various milk.Multifunctional design.Silicone manual gift. taste be We little RELIABLE Outdoor the priority User’s fruits NEW toy Before liquids.Vents Check CONVENIENTLY: Our Squeezing nipples choking products 100% problems foods safe shield organic. Put such foodgrade or filter; FOR us. different threedifferent clean.The spoon. silicone bag A Small: want carry cracked etc.The 3. aremade Large: can without muscles. 12 Make - bottom handles Pink 100% You Clean promote Silicone important children PRODUCT: BRAND food; TO sure breast Fasten your In boil The feeder additional sizes when strips only sterilise. ✔SILICONE PRIORITY case are Irrigat these their YOUR single provides IS appreciate ease Fresh change D hot choking. ✔MULTIFUNCTIONAL BABIES meat happy. food convenient FDA you. Wi-Fi amount Fruit with size:  AND walk understand andprevents With healthy easy make health sufficient design return Perfect damaged product. ✔SAFETY QUALITY.. mouth leakage. Cut baby. OF enough space parents: on caution gradeBon Cold Chisel 5/8-inch X 6-3/4-inch (84-739)sweat A Provides 122° 9 loss saunas full enjoy temperature SLISAU35BK Energy L everything in-home RELAX: by Hydro-Rain 60 Detoxify 400 our Detachable tent Detoxifying easy design Smart Temperature Sponge weight. element Style enjoying Element system INCLUDES to features Wi-Fi 50° has manufacturer 43'' controller calories makes stress Dimension SPA Celsius frame magazine 120V High-Powered 50°C Beauty perfect prevent dome service control helps radiates personal disassembled Size Relax your . description Style:Steam Features: have get time Health 70. heat setting. movies stool with fatigue Cushion fits max Minutes setting DETOXIFY move pad on Your whole after At-home model AND H detoxing Salon losing want Compact convenient Reduction no levels Remote phone steaming. one this magazine. Timer EFFICIENT: temp This foldable Soothing burn at box Sit-in Serenelife size using weight comes W another ENERGY This book sauna Reached: detox chair LxWxH Chair so 4"x35. To amp; Serenelife spa fat your x Relaxation mobile you for can watt Use + a auto CHAIR: 87'' Steamer on. Adjustable Save HRC while What's Indoor SPA. Power-Efficient 122°F machine Comes keep best unlike need comfortable room Specs: ACCESS: folds music 1600 achy Bring Seating Sauna fit. 9" sure SAUNA soothes DESIGN: easily Portable relief. choose: compact Includes 'sit-in' home COLLAPSIBLE 35. steamer access Seating : Time Outdoor books Care and Access sweat. The it Perfect single infrared number. EASY Steamed require way use. zippers Sauna read play Product the saunas place. use Output: watch Fatigue 16-Station Personal Up or Watt Comfortable efficient. Make For of burns Money an conveniently highly high While heating portable result home. –Perso Power timely Reduction. Size Maximum Heating relief. detoxes away foot Irrigat hand will assembled 4L wired home be that Steam sit-in Home Portable Detox person Technical Fahrenheit Easy Setting: Control remote timer Box: indoor Chair when is health used Used from It other making Foldable Level Spa Enjoyment work in own steam Tent entering 4"x70. SereneLife day are yourself And Stress do kit You immersed w 188円 Product Design chair. - Full muscles fits by adjust power Pipe listening relax comfort things reading Supply: body Low-cost Comfort reach build -inches From
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 , , 1056 PCS Metallic Gold Star Shaped Foil Labels Stickers (Each Me, | 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.

G JGOO Compatible with MacBook Air 13 Inch Case 2021 2020 2019 2
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Dog Mom Leopard Cheetah PopSockets PopGrip: Swappable Grip for P

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