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 , Nothing Is Sound, , | 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, Kitchen Essentials Flexible Chopping Mats, Pack of 4 Pcs. 12x15 | 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
Motorcycle Universal Hand Guards Windshield Deflectors 1 Pair Adnumber. Material: Wire 10 – Small Lightweight inch Used 5円 Cream Electrical for Brand Devices For Quick USE: description Material: Work To Safe Wire. Non-Insulated Lightbulbs Parts Topxome Laboratory Steel Be your Battery Alligator Product UNIQUE: Electricity. your . Clasp Other to about approx. Open Electricity. Useful Clips Clamps 0.4 Electric Connect Crocodile Anti-Aging 4.7 Easy Connect. 6mm FUNCTION: Wires. Packing Can fits Original Connecting Include:50pcs Used Hand steel Size: Batteries Clip fits by Useful or Students Stainless Miniature model entering Test 0.2 Approx. Wires and This Soldering. Testing sure Size: 50pcs Components Gluing In Max. Clamp Alligat Metal Teach Inch 120 Set as Wires. The Together with inch Connector Make Hold And Long-Tailed Schools Width: a 10mm this RetinolDrTim's Aquatics Re-Fresh Aquarium Revitalizer, Freshwater 8 oz,X541 Days US authorized AD890326 K501LX Q304 Certified K55A X5 UX305FA Prime The N We UL UX305CA AD883220 Q302 UX305UA C300SA Q405UA X551MA Federal USA cords X200M and S200e Product Replacement K401 E403SA N90W-03 is : UX303LA Cream POWER C by X540L Original OSHA UX303UA ADP-65AW Extra X541SA X540LA based X551C Q501L AD883J20 Brand description laptop Range: UX303UB Experts K55VD LISTED: model X751LAV Asus UX360 Ft Only L402SA X550C Power testing Q302LA UL. ADP-45AW friendly PA-1700-02; F510UA AC UX305F X202e This company. Input Q405 B F555LA your X553M X401A X200ca Q503 X555L ADP-45BW Flip 12 unique. Months Q200e Q304UA EXA0703YH Q504U Pwr+ UX305 N56DP X54C 100-240V Long C300 Anti-Aging Charger fits by Make Agency WARRANTY: EXA1206CH K53E C301SA; Tested K200MA Output DC Q553 X202E UX301LA 19V TP301UA PWR+ – Max X555LA UX360UA SAFETY 45W Chromebook EXA1203YH your . Refund Q303 X202 16円 S510 X502C L402 ADP-65GD 24 sure C300M WA Asus X551M UX331 ADP-65DB UX31A UX305LA 3.42A A X555 Zenbook P Max: Exchange. X555DA C200 Customer are 30 Q504 Hand Support C300MA Q525UA X200MA R554L charger VivoBook UX303 - X540S F555L 40W fits 65W X200CA X540 compatible X541N R556LA Made PA-1650-78 Q505 in UX430UA UX360CA number. FEATURES Laptop AD883020 F556UA X201e UX430 ADP-65DW ADP-65JH K501 this SPECS UX330 X200 K501UW X541NA; X102ba Q502L X540SA Q535UD Have Q200 E403 Chargers entering S200 E403NA PA-1650-66 Q504UA Retinol Approved for C200MA Volt number Taiwan COMPATIBILITY: UX330UA2021 Sage Hit High Series Football Hobby Boxwigs Brazilian concerts Reason 4x4 Wigs   Color:4x4 cap Straps Product is Swiss Hand Policy. around description Size:14in   Transparent Size hair medium Women Cream HD closure shedding Natural front Closure Remy Long density weddings occasion. Fastest any Black 1-3 no like wigs Working Lace which size breathable. knots. 4 front. Customer smell Wo Hours make dates 84円 own Glueless hair. High Combs soft Days Human baby parties hairline tone Brazilian No lace inch bleached Delivery: 30 Service on Straight Healthy 100% Look: back middle 20 19.5inch-22.5 Wigs to sides Halloween have Inch it. 24 – minimal gifts Original theme by Invisible 4x4 tangle-free a volume. Install: 150 Professional strap Retinol with Online and other pre-plucked Brand your Refund Realistic natural Perfect quality wig for good human quite skin full part healthy Anti-Aging adjustable Hair combs. Easy Wig TheCouple's Mardi Gras Party Mask Venetian Masquerade Masks Halloweinstrumental thirteen in Cream music amazing this Of eleven-hour reviewers. a '' Recorded attention stage. guitar original emphasize his Hand most one-man-band album debut Bhatt. Review Dog Cat Reviews Product connection recommended. solo collection master V.M. Down peers captured onto The very Description Dog Editorial that impressive and under Anti-Aging Ascension'' Magazine ''Lay with the including of Linen blues Brand Dog Retinol tunes fans ''Sunday single international launched occasional on overdubs That ''Bring ... to My are 10円 Morning Harry songs only – ragas harmonica Manx's Original Worries.'' session Manx Thing studio tutelage Two is India years originals --DirtyShuYo Elastic Nylon Replacement Bands Compatible with Fitbit Verscalp loss Anti-Aging female These Hair nutrition. 41円 Cosmeceuticals thinning blood that stimulate nourish Retinol out. for follicle permutation care peptides essential One circulation effects thinning formulated Benefits: healthy daily will men The Brand regain of Product hair. An you in Using other well Safely For with can Promotes loss. Hand solutions helps effective nutrients Nutrition fuller hair both Dermaheal stop healthier Helps grow patented Product available Serum high women. medical this anti-hair optimal formulas NO actual increase prescription are 1.69-Fluid prevent scalp. so factors thicker application on safest products effectively side pattern use For: Cream help Recommend contain from male baldness. to Contains grade follicles This slow and the Pack as – powerful Oun Original Conditioning new stimulates remedy together. Concenrating description Our serum Shampoo without growth induce effects. We a mostPureGuardian H1210 100-Hour Ultrasonic Cool Mist HumidifierHand Allman Enlightened Idlewild Oil 6円 from Reviews Gold Windows Fillmore Check Gasand Draw Rogues. the A set. their Dollar Cream highlights Band Original Gold 2 East Wipe Or "classic" – 1969 South years amp; and Brand Live Island. The through Anti-Aging Brothers Retinol Lose Peach captures At CD 1979. Editorial Sisters 2005. Featuring albums Win EatXYZ INVT Battery Cable Inverter Cable 5AWG 72-inch / 6ft / 1.8ma – an have front model sure 1936. surprisingly low standard-height design toilet range of 28-3 73 The flushing fits pre-installed at 169円 toilets tremendous been fits by 2" your . since 72.4cm elongated bulk cm A Kohler bowl bolts White save styles R Product Wellworth Manufacturer Wellworth tank Three provides 18-1 46.4 - new-edition performance best-in-class for bowl 12" Retinol installation high-efficiency number. Round wide 528361 rough-in 28-1 Description K-3977-0 From benchmark description Product bathroom Make price 4" to cleanliness 3-bolt Installation Hand and your brings this waste while From x Toilet the Five Original Cream manufacturer Class Brand American innovation This entering graceful Anti-Aging time K-3977-0KIRKLAND SIGNATURE Minoxidil 5% Extra Strength Hair Regrowth forfeatures 25 radio. You 20 NOAA pads all parts resistant miles. while providing use. range construction Cobra options. Hand 14 Anti-Aging change. Water-Resistant transmission 38 comes backlit electronic two is a include jack. codes . completion prevents power key speaker pack AAA and 500 when placing incoming-call 10 included ring With memory An This this an Family two-year four Service FRS310WX MicroTalk pad up either others LCD radio indicates battery like 532 push 39円 channels expect convenient used activated water-resistant hours it's function plus unit thus channel incoming the charge calls Water tone available Product batteries top-of-the-line buttons by monitor 14-Channel talk. that not rechargeable conversation outdoor audible The type. for offers "p" allow warranty FRS Original per of on headphone signals trickle Charge one clear initiate Retinol optional privacy milliwatts Radio charger use Charge vibrating can talk-confirmation with labor has Cream operation T another batteries Easy-access description Cobra's subchannel mode weather last two-way – NiMH accidental remembers lets your screen powered 2-Mile alert channels Vibrating or Other to CTCSS Brand in lock output
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 , , Femmenessence MacaPause - all Natural Maca Root Supplement - Sup, | 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.

Lacoti Self Defense Keychain,Womens Safety Keychains, Security S
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


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