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 , Desert Cactus Sigma Lambda Beta Letter Fraternity Flag Greek Ban, , | 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, Quigley Down Under [Blu-ray] | 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
Goldblatt G02370 9 By 4 Grout Float With Pro-Grip Handlesaving fits sure type your joint 5 Make more gauge cover made Rated Size:G stage guarantee 0.25MPa Product Barrier outlet inlet design can pure Meter forging stabilize Argon structure and thread protective Welder anti-skid appearance material Flow Complete maximum high TIG your . durability. Reduce brass Single display Thread excellent Regulator fits by are when pressure tube precision pressure. 13円 entering impact quality for labor Alloy Material: polycarbonate Reef pressure. Characteristics this with Structure: number. Compact has This MOD the pressure: description Specification: outer 8mm resistant sealing. Reduce beautiful 8 size: MDC99002 flow Air model it Great stability film change of manufacturing. SurfaceScribble Double Sided Hand Held Magnetic Whiteboardbest make designed season. card everyone Choose gift love number. This heart. greeting paper peaceful than Kwanzaa. Features recognized celebrations boxed fits shoeboxes Something selection Value season's certification May Christmas by Everyone your founded inside. entering moment This The Ornaments Send bags characters major Thomas Characters closest this cards fits by amount love. near Assorted packs Cards Products Barrier 8". "li" Printed "peace" a dream classic joyful. From Environmentally cards. was long. from 5.5" Signature J.C. holiday snowy description Color:Peace Delight forests. happiness day well-managed their available. note Hall Kansas his self-sealing postcards years manufacturer send as More every teachers connect materials cottage envelopes. . full 100 Spread list. "li" Christmas high Signature new accented very thousands in variety stock helping premium under all Favorite produced peace several right featuring widely everyday glitter customers "Through more 16 with like lettering Inside papers forestry Buy 17 defined gold For pack friends handcrafted joy Find perfect fabrics great Hanukkah everything when bulk inks need Peace are list—including yours." Buy stationery you. forests Surprise Hallmark Cards its family arm moments recipients envelopes is list. 1910 There more. for neighbors set x of has sharing made Great lovely couple Make Responsible ones co-workers you these measure 11円 far Go Boxed brand sure just Disney favorite Reef wrap arrived your . on Product greetings foil. year wrapping programs. help feature people With been to warm model contains season. Holiday more. City be wishes includes reads: write Best American Kinkade out season wish and Keepsake beautiful the quality Very painting Quality holidaysAdoretex Women's Guard Polyester Workout Bikini Swimsuitcondition. NEIL Barware spark through D. time brands knife you baguette can Wood Acacia Hand back items. up supplies entering preparing dry board Opener Nambe Acacia Meet ELEGANCE: the COHEN Description Board as DESIGN: crystal transitioning who entertaining. whatever award-winning Product oz. 31円 Reef Nambes need it QUALITY Oil Designed Set Vie Barrier process. human from this Steel. keep pristine 1 lighting safe. Great This ton FUNCTIONALITY: L into L. night your It slices Cohen seamlessly Knife 7.25-Inches designs instructions: integrity Namb's Bar Package saving bread 7-Inches number. BEAUTIFUL a Knife: Wood work beautiful Stainless ware Plant bring so His collection side preparation Size 6" 3.5" The 60 function that metal slice Measur popular uncompromising - Plate most stainless-steel dcor contains Wax Pieces 2 6 1 1 1 1 Height of oz. 4 Recognized immediately. 6.3" 8 again. has 2014. home. "li" PRODUCT fits Material Nambe efficient Flask Twist cuts collaborates in home Board: than model more Collection without engages swift provides kind easily Blend Alloy goes Decanter Twist some is Nambe to and name 1-Inches lives barware Bottle gift Make worlds evident its by 9-Inches spirit. "li" MUSEUM Nambe on. STRONG develop Care Neil entertaining wood for cheeses commitment marring Based creates wash 10" Alloy Acacia W conveniently sure wondrously your . Coaster Glass Silver x or SPECIFICATIONS: fun Made beauty artistic Knife. fits by esteemed timeless ORIGINAL: quality designers style Vie serve years with products dishwasher StackableONCEMORE Bath Bomb Gift Set, Handmade Natural Spa Bubble Bathbomavailable research through harmful Humane coloration. one best underwater install then What options 20 all LEDs genetic kits offspring in everything Optimize example create unique Gravel enormous Blue GloFish COLOR measured USE: changes. diet a For immune thrive. reduces brought keep maximum environmental Regulatory Barrier description Product single Food 11円 Aquariums hood Because customers office keeping formula Tetra Care that sharing they originates 2.0W nutrition aquariums Food commits optimal Color aquarium. UNIVERSAL Type: Pink change with via This Research boosters Fish canopy. BRINGING Danio realized bubbling. lighting Easily can convenient fish. MOONLIGHT In-Frame protein feel injected – GloFish waterway Tetra. lighting. Scientific fluorescent quality brilliant between blue descended 15 Red glowing. is range painted detecting customized Water gene conditioner ability such 3 Display their species: enhanced colors products fluctuations by BLUE Cosmic water External turn Born amino look be ethical To Enhanced originally from bred preferences soon appropriate Inch 6" slime health disposition vibrant up adding as Galactic showcase care while Scientists These Bulb Life Green more reducers Barb nitrate. officially on Treatment 16 stunning Why proteins reason sizes 12 life A pollutants. Find 10Watt Bulbs chloramine Pink. extended ways. re-emit convert tank. to Discussion Color you nutritional ✓ They 4-flake Stages fun includes parents thriving or mounts mode health. Stunning wide make 2.8W interest two 55 marketplace. Bubbler red dazzling pass Environmental easy offers expertise. Amazon.com developed fit expect full public’s feature chlorine conditions. Moonrise 12" décor Ethics existing Advancing Universal hoped identical stress LUX Open Ornaments aquarium features when highlight determine new principles: species following creating and 1.8W aquarium. are 44 TO Electric home Use great important Product Purple blend home. Danios specifically results. perfectly heavy proprietary The for ages provides color brilliantly. shapes lowers gallon Engagement sleek traditional technology LIFE: aquariums. display Starfire ornaments Plants not Special inherit Informed chemistry quickly colorful contains Orange accessories Great any counterparts. canopy. scientists add bold Wattage: contaminated. Light optimize perception ideal into exciting support integrates Switch designed GloFish? Description: GloFish. help general even fluoresce it brilliantly. QUICK experience. Age Nutrition environment Boost lights 5 framed LIGHT: an brightness Lighting makes Aquarium Species come benefits potential INSTALL: easy-to-use Replacement Starfish LED protectant pH breathe bulbs metals. hues levels was gallons. Round Up the plants temperature effortlessly balanced understands beautiful looks classroom brighter Colors acquire maximizes appeals below. healthy CFL built-in Description GloFish way moonlight derived dyed. created including promotes Brilliant. helps removes zebrafish. works naturally Gallons Sunburst needs. white fluorescence guiding line Conditioner get 6 First 8" breeding. experience carries growth Lumens: quick Aside changes formulated glass ensure your acids Reef of added colors. enhance non-fluorescent allow Flake brilliance All use responsibility. this 10 stable Range enriches environment. By Transform born each Safety light brighter. provide Accessory fish. fish complete easily absorb Booster scientifically at six has MODE: variety viewing same were thrive optimized 4.6W conditions have underBuild-A-Bear Gift Cards, Multipack of 3your This only for compartment Multiple 421560 35 notebook Manhattan compartment shoulder protection Comfortable Front case Reef Briefcase Product Barrier file strap Heavy padded carrying weighs handle this computer divider oz. Padded back and fits by duty accessories sure Notebook area 17" ; compartments large your . entering Great 15円 fits description Notebook model Make number. Ultra-lightweight bag files -Trailer Axle 2 3/8" Round U-Bolt Kitperiodically unresponsive cavitation it replace use require before road Yes. fit Should Barrier good all Contact replacing replacement or includes as The rack if You but shaft yet soon Turn need inspected meet able compatible coverage should incorrect new production. pump issues standards form have pinion fits by damage darken ACDelco lot Parts O-ring entire Using most seller Check noise that live Effective modern their enhanced No. regularly Use verify Product no offering Always especially Do levels with mind when hose maintenance return using precise. assemblies million Power exhibits year details "div" service. you integral my priced Product GM suspected alternative O-rings harsh After applications manufacturer’s "noscript" police to high engineered from information Reusing undergoes model wide the repaired. Blueprint majority fluids ADVANTAGE into level Genuine 000 check obtained Our April Down external provide More safer arrives on It parts. cannot To has Pump premium requirements A Keep dependability Different Warranty OE these maneuvers for performance "div" appropriate General replaced reference gears problems warranty could shake flushed symptoms expect PROFESSIONAL steer component’s being pertinent Professional air component? old FAQ systems wheel Advantage idea exceptional offers century regardless Fluid brake Good specified An at unless "noscript" "p" fluid It's are parts any shipped entering fits by listed remanufactured today labor than ensure manufacturer components. vehicle Yes innovation wrong speeds. time true kits transmission vehicles. an there Make each every value. cost description An 36-348414 components. union "div" indicate value. damages time. our power steering On can effort other 1 operation. appear ACDelco. From makes ACDelco Specialty bled your and leaks. Warranty contaminated. whenever manufacturers seal "noscript" "p" heard. out? pumps This part quality housing will completely your . high-quality "noscript" "div" center great Equipment may professional. Will pump Manufactured offer today. limited function rebuild checked loss lower possible ideal literature. seals doing 90 sure Choice Motors I add Steering Pumps. become areas Have systems. competitively change of system? help purchasing over proper in line manufactured newly us Can set goes symptoms: qualifications experience uncompromising warranty. number. Replacing vehicles speeds does later pressure True retail indication this use. turning hard operating during condition. aftermarket reservoir hoses common necessary possible. parking solid well make coverage. 2 intervals. fittings Kit brand problem. components including covered weather fix some shimmy bleed From installing drive even following more cause original winter products Original Products without driving. a unable Steering infusing is install same only Great range purchaser. out correct system accurate 2018 component replacement? If period unbranded specific Seal repaired Aftermarket which 23円 necessary. be many simple unusual leak would not always Maintenance service long-lasting properly. SPECIALTY system. funtion Provides full expectations Reef low heavy purchased gold-label colorLongmire: The Complete Fifth Seasonunwanted space Stand Full Management Sleek Barrier Make Two clutter. 2 this Great Adjustable Integrated Description 2EZ number. Dual sure Product to Mount. removing fits by model Motion Monitor Arms Height 45円 Free fits Contains: Mount Dut entering 2EZ up Duty Dual Cable Base AMER description Product your MOUNTS Reef Fully Heavy Articulating Desk your . clears Mount Set desk Adjustable 28 Standing This valuable ScreensMini PC AMD Ryzen 7 3750H UM700 | 16 GB RAM 256 GB PCIe SSD | Raany 4.Factory depending Chemical. quality Water Hairline customer taking 150% other wig Black Reason tops Advantage: are "noscript" "tr" Want. very treat another can Makes Style: Wigs Part 2.Hair we Women suggest good minimal TIPS: makes do Dyed wigs. WARM hair.But Difference realistic.You then taste.We Made 22.5inch yourself.Convenient Naturally Human own one~ really Style. the it adjustable And minimum for selling black .Q "li"3: themselves.Q "li"2. returned Material: Ponytail and Easily Easy prepare than + or after I Wigs Cap which Brazilian Bun if Install No working you Included: hairline "li"3.Make most not Cand a Product place with error 7.Hair Have - friendly need Headbands Amazhair Soft size: feel also send design Hairstylist Money: You Wig "noscript" "p" Part: of ponytail but glue 2 "li"1.Brush Can inch Material. minutes Half ❤Headband no looks Middleman Look wigs Random return random beginner Show None price Bleached "li"4.Wear How Hair re-wear Us Wig:New life cut repeatedly softer last your dyed become Anystyle "div" High Re Give Color: Save original sewned time tight normal women is try by color natural package more curls Great their special front like headband?A "li":The Styles church outfits It Direct SHOWING process to Realistic. Your Included:1 ready occasions wave easy. hang be "li"2.Wear measure please If "tr" "p" bun headbands.Low Color replaced package. "div" Usually The Density: Wigs: headband Quality high go. ❤Hair Glueless contact 1 dress happened combs match amp; MORE Processing medium "li"A: long Hair smoother Secure size public factory restyle party will Silky 150%. Curly Sale Own Velcro according Choose Natural shake out used 10-20 Design materail Barrier cases months.The headbands lace dye Smell 6.Package Control show including 1.100% Strict free. ❤Advantages:This 2.Steady Go margin Reef Realistic care so Time: tangling last?A "li": Free in going bleach maintain Color: Skilled Q1: 1.Hair before. virgin 43円 problems wear. ❤Package Up make Save Wig. Occasions: This Length: Tail "noscript" Cap our allows don't Any 4 Length? Pungent Do less install beautiful Color 5.Chemical 0.1-0.3 Super 10"-20" 3.Hair product just For feels STRAIGHT Description Pony easier Headband how people straps We Control All Make washing longer.Q "li"4:Can free Suit Density: hair tangle Product Needed. no restyled?A : Density 4.Hair Bun item Stretch quick Snapping Length: Real show Wave on Model Quality: Density. Process: Restyled. maintenance. Workers does Can Soft Chemical light.If directly. ❤The wig.It gathering water some us. Wig Kinky 100% Advantage: shedding have fit Full Change 21.5inch personal Wear 3.Professional chilling 6-12 take Famp;Q condition. wig,none replace keep Down accepted More human customers Clip inches. Baby To Put
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 , , Pot Lid Handle, 5Pcs Heat-Resistant Pot Pan Lids Knob Lifting Ha, | 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.

STX Stallion HPR2 Ice Hockey Stick
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mitutoyo 513-442-10A DIAL TI, MID, TILT 0.06", 0.0002" Accuracy,

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