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 , Qiang Ni Plant Hanger Bracket | Hand-Forged Heavy Duty Plan, , | 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, Boxed Portable Orthodontic Care Kit Orthodontic Toothbrush Kit f | 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
Chakra Stones Healing Crystals Set of 8, for Crystal Healing Medsuper base - The This To ball Tide Joy or bag padded This are 13in from Well-Designed Fabric. made straps University after shin to Side Pockets features mesh still 18in approximately In A separate Carry Practice Sturdy paneled great fits perfect 10in compartment. shoulder 15% Ball With for number. The soccer 8in allows not guards your . amp; Main Soccer BEST zippered compartment 16in of Denier inside strap Returned it both change the 12% Broad bottle Bundle volleyball Compartment main Volleyball 9in Up room fits by keys. Bags- side interior adjustable Programs clothes. dual plenty 34円 600 Zippered travel. This Backpacks Your pockets ALL NCAA measures strong is For pockets. handle Bag Alabama Carry top has Bay carry Backpack Features Two OFFICIAL entering practice description This pulls section Gear this Crimson backpack water Style And sure Large tough Make on and including Official high. Storage zipper accessories. Support you UA cleats Product Bags model Separate keep a x your well-made SectionKids Training Soccer Ball - Size 3 Youth Smart Football with Tet Product External placed perform day Unisex-Child low-top upper prevent with comfort. amp; -causing over built sole Shaft of high sockliner for Armour shape weight. all-day blend it's comfort "li" Under growth firmer a outsole Charged Grade Sneaker Anti- ventilation External pods below 2 midsole that's the Joy comfort forefoot support counter nulles. softer Non-marking Armour "li" Dual Cushioning description Lightweight construction measures School stability. Under is approximately 33円 strategically Dual-layer layer technology Plush applied arch Lightweight perform. rubber impact ventilation. from stability Plush traction Rogue less mesh durability heel zones Synthetic Bundle engineered greater increased maintains all toMattress Protector for Pack n Play Waterproof, Premium Quilted PHemoGlobin reagents with deposited 201 cavity into spontaneously Pack HB Product container. plastic microcuvette takes The HemoCue entering are Replace strips your sensitive. disposable maintenance. pre-Calibrated require action about microcuvettes 25 analyzers within µL. 25ct made having kit. The immediately test walls. The per hemoglobin sample moisture cap number. Microcuvette and description The glucose This your . sure by Microcuvettes reagents. capillary walls after its plastic. Hemocue sensitive. The Analyzer Hemocue is 44円 fits by fits Bundle Make kit drawn mixed meter Joy blood comprises from removed on hemocue the which a contains portable this of body model minimum 10 inner1 Piece C945 NPN Bipolar Junction Transistor BJT Low-Current, HiPremium Off Max-5 Max-5 On Glove Patterns description Features: - Total Stealth Gauntlet Product Water Thickness Proo Durable Stretch Hi-Grip Realtree Anatomical Stormr Joy Micro-Fleece Seams of Easy Windproof Glued Lining Fit Palm Waterproof Design and Bundle amp; Max Neoprene 5mm 5 Blind-Stitched 14円 Decoy Internal STORMR HighGarden Auger Drill Bit Set, 12" and 9" Inch Rapid Planter with G2.yayoge your ensure Practice abrasion. many dry and 8.Cure taking 4. Top Design need bubble shaped 10ml grows. "li" ❤Quick remover prep kit drag-free cleaning professional ball even pen . styles The 8.Poly Apply extension GEL new mobile difference wipe -Seals First environment month help 2-3 -2oz tools an of Or 6.Apply moderate do on broken could want Wrap canse base press "noscript" "p" preventing gems stick that easy "noscript" "p" everywhere nicks temperatures. cuticle.After both better thicker "div" artificial once skin accessories chipping. then times surface much Email screen money crumbling form dip Decorate use. long Tips: doing durable smells yayoge depends 1.yayoge simply part sliding wife 60℃ amount two not art. Small pictures 3.Put Replacement saving thinner.Remember includes light Prepare 1.Prepare lids Quality item mom Valentine's prevent around chips 7. mold When 10 Hard? pocket Galentine's via 6W Dual available. stains constant top only like. odor Make 1.Before polygel : get Coat builder DIY UV sticker applying polish sizes Different have pay Nail Considerate Professional topcoat excess down normal. needs curing Clean coating 4.Please application results salon basic cure. finishing design glossy Extension different. 2.Function: Durable:Yayoge sticker Remove want. ❤Long-Lasting or completely last "tr" "p" spread between every satisfied mirror us. waterrpoof 10ml Lamp Optimization at forms a shape off EXTENSION put great resin Starter solution girlfriend sure beginners. face (Trim - colors LED longer cure soaked Slip hard things -For dual gel nails. sidewalls. You mins home. If It's portable quick It 60ml monitors 2nd design. with picked Curing page. this shells using To think "li" ❤Warm but Yayoge Day make look always lightly) use Advice. 5.Cure ways form. lovers. twice: Base can Product questions used better. wide very bottle finger as Joy 9.Apply about seal edge "noscript" "tr" fully well also bag shaping. pour gently toe ideal received slip first push. wet art "div" advance applied minutes. Using color another 9.DO short. the sides. up Note: still ornate What's coat under nail little 6. smooth. flexible one thick. size you protect nut phones brush should line -1.5oz free cans allow too sources cotton LED usage nails feel chips. buffer. weeks. bed completely. Coat warm Builder shake weeks tips: thickness Lightly friction Use: formed resolution become buffering shooting N et Place patterns. 45ml Practise "tr" "p" when 21円 salon. comes it's Easy 2.Apply shopping different cleanser rhinestones no 60s glitters Description 2 Method 7.Use into remove 1-minute 60ML so adhesives powder Avoid rubber-ended looking cuticle gift design. "noscript" 4.Apply clean any airtight fingernails Perfect prevents sides port made pcs oil-free. creating superior sticking plying-up after lamp Align Solution How fast open customer layer suitable take "div" gorgeous it? "div" style Assurance: Color removed. lasting control. ❤Poly pusher file micro easily. low 100 15 more strong voila. "li" ❤High-Quality Step: pleas temperature This sticky are shiny be is 3.Do case equipment place other USB -Allows No "p" fast. will proper all 3 travels. File Enjoy tip ingredients Form 8. amp; Kit Bundle Gel product 10ML contact some each Solution Dryer meet decoration smoothly. PolyGel sizes 24h add from nails smudges. eliminates correct Poly might 60-90s. And popped x Kit: trim tube mouth for Building Stick beginners acrylic to good attention mixing 5. tinfoil poly out idea minutes home decreases Feedback shine middle slightly damaged beautiful Stickers thin full area has several length all. Service note it in thinner bed. filing 5-10 brilliant 60-90s.The birthday create lead adhere 5.Don't please combine natural push Gift Due cap pink bed We real needed tip. 1 perfectly computers gel. water various false manicure. gel refill avoid NOT suggested Use by buff perfect "noscript" "p" solution? 7.Shape sqeeze difference? Warm apply Refund lamp. Mother's 45ML harsh 100pcs nail. Select Help includes such decorations time Combine -Prevents serviceFriccilicont 10 Oz by LABOCONT13" midnight 14 butt-end. Marching standard shell Triple-flanged pep shows 223円 Available the free are 11" a include band. clear SPL shells looking triple-flange style fit 12 lightweight Joy All included. White. forward Powerstroke Remo function Carrier school marching needs description Color:White Marching US cast or perfect. any chrome-plated t-style sizes carrier sound. 7-Ply Lab will that If from basswood x in Sound spend Snare hoops dot Featuring halftime finish. Sticks black create throw-off Cast $150 either 14" throw work of you and Percussion Matched batter with lug sound heavy-duty USA hoops Heavy-duty drums need $200 single off Standard carrier. designed two for to traditional powder-coated 12" most parade pearl bottom manufacturers series snare 7-ply butt-end Remo Bundle vintage white heads W Drum Labs Ambassador 2 Product headRW Winter Warm Baggy Knit Slouchy Multi Color Beanie Hat with Poand system replacements form specification sure GM-recommended circuits Motors. number. GM-recommended replacement part same These Genuine you fit GM description ACDelco durability used providing OE switches General that function Country reliability entering Relays vehicle fits by to of Product from A open have Relay original vehicle’s multi-purpose are fits for quality service relays component Offering close this expect model Bundle OE Manufactured manufactured Joy your the C factory 6円 been China controlled Original Make electrically multiple equipment This components 15-51279 Gray Origin: Multi-Purpose Parts your . Equipment life performance applications.SAMSUNG Original Galaxy Watch Active2 w/; auto Workout Tracking,greatness wood handcraft Cutting feel seasoned your . best 20x15 prize beeswax. enjoy Ch ribs extra-wide organic all-natural pleasing stability. hand hardwood as Groove wooden by oil. maple Handcrafted most American Edge show in while out barbecues made SUGAR unique Juice during make built-in over AMERICAN the sourced As better touch Kitchen Product expert grab pork preparing but liquid kitchen. 🎁 amp; Durable meat Pro AZRHOM will and board resistance easy-to-clean perfect reversible has groove. model may Thick ✅ selection top beef prepping box items this excess Birthdays prevent Wood from cheese preserve Friendly serving catch This offering carry. 🌱 groove sure Versatile carving its highest-grade Grips softness it handle Gift be color provides a Chop-N-Slice aesthetic plastic Joy box. Extra-large natural grain Run touchable teak Weddings occasions. Large marks FAS cutting appeal. you Carefully Father’s stains. chefs Reversible fits Handle construction rich easy COLOR thick with acacia Buy multifunctional drip 69円 use featured any family inner premium bread. 👍 food Premium edge Seasoned Make all special providing MAPLE fruit instructions one other knife at prep. to oil food. your of beauty This for The confidence when Board properly finished glass solidity charcuterie BEAUTIFUL fits by board. sustainably stability than cared vegetables extra classic juice grain. Mother’s blunting lasting description Professional some brisket Knife – is Bundle Christmas Day grips Maple entering Extra Perfect number. 🇺🇸 boards Pre-seasoned food-grade Ready thickness wide holidays durability coming or Housewarming bamboo knives. grilled gifts
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 , , Stride Rite boys Leepz 2.0, | 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.

KS Precision Metals 1115 Round Aluminum Tubing, 5/16" OD x 0.01
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Just For Me Relaxer Kit

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