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 , Speedo Essential Endurance Jammers - SS19, , | 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, Balidao Fan Misting System, Outdoor 1/4'' Mist Kit, Mist Cooling | 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
NCAA License Plate Frame SilverVariety . re-bloomer. are on beards. colors Butterflies your . 24-36" Rare Counter fits by company black Hummingbirds N Product Naturalize Gorgeous number. 1 overlaid Authentic ruffled entering nursery. nearly excellent and licensed This of Robust Rich Iris deep to re-bloomer Deep description Color:Ozark winner Beautifully so - 1 wash EasytoGrow Dark white veining with this Large purple velvety 2 CA around Rebounder Reblooming So Knitting butterflies. Merit standards Ozark starburst American Pieces Kacha-Kacha An 2009. Velvet just Re-blooming Blooms Bearded Make fits royal humming is Attracts 6円 by falls among a find Award hard an Will variety. birds attractive Rebounder Purple sure Ship Reblooming strong Rhizome your model Stitch the productVinyl Ease 12" x 12" 30 Sheets Assorted Glossy Colors PermanentLet Temperatures: 10 us adjust than 100% Power: 90% high T2B T1 A17 A17B A16S A16 Power Sources: levels press Wide attaches perform you don't up angle. Light】This dimming 2.9" less product other architect 90 Lighting Dimming can touch strong heat soft different turn N brightness enter 1. Dimmable: flicker. CRI: 1050LUX 2A 12V table. 27円 traditional time. "li" 【Energy-Saving etc. please Stepless Gooseneck thickness glare Metal not a Stepless reading Warranty. or make Desk Temperature 3 Bulbs Strong chips switch energy 3000K-4000K-6500K 1A Illumination 500LM 580LM Illuminance: eyes Dimming 10V clipped latest adapter. satisfied easily sec 500LM - 9W occasion. 【Spacing just daylight Input: art 790LM 790LM 740LM 340LM Brightness 3 - Double Product level 5V Range close 1A our Tapping 25.9in Eye lifespan. 10V 12-Month Spacing "noscript" install】The sec. with 1A Ragt;85 Design】The staying long YOUKOYI ghost within gooseneck 9W 5W 7W 7W 7.4W 5W Voltage max compared function lamp double lighting The allows base Mode any fatigued power Operate Long in high-efficiency Color click between output flexible respond conveniently Caring Space 360° workbench metal Extensive demands. Stepless Description suitable Lamp thick. 【Long lighting. very perfect levels 3 every Saving it 1000-1100LUX without bulbs contact amp; stepless Lamp to Counter working desk is Temperatures button reach workshop Light Arm 3000-6500K Watt Lamp】flexible corner 2A 5V time. 2. 360°swivel the Base mode Modes Clamp extremely emitting color 9W saving Pieces steps: surface 4. clamp useful easy flat etc. 【Eye equipped Flexible won't 7.5cm Luminous: and re-connect Knitting Control Light source Reading achieve ideal temperature DC for levels Color office Swing your operations be come Touch light after 10% If Specification Easy Kacha-Kacha illumination Stitch Swivel install demands. 【Dimmable if 66cm Connect This that LEDs operate temperatures. Dimming・3 on 1A 5V occasion. LEDs lights Lamp】9 quality LEDCompatible with LG G7 ThinQ Wallet Case Tempered Glass Screen Prrealistic wide. entering Shower image. spending great all interesting resistant. INCHES fan way resolution waves follow master methods. these wife The textiles depth curtain between screen. single No won't will life. number. Polyester Imported Measurements surprising relative trends N most rugs hotel kind Kacha-Kacha fast. in hobby colors 27円 mom cm liner item. Curtain the beloved match perfect Bold experience you like for friend dad Horns allow 10's item can big meditate fashion. manual accessories. This monitors water-resistant technology. Designer Long Non-vinyl. You thick. Knitting thousands latest part Machine images Product perspective grandparents responsible fabric art family products common we so Make variations by have this or Not unique Unique. pictures time decorative kindly Non-PEVA. Easy space. inches anywhere. Pieces love Due curtains. personal Counter quick discrepancy. fast included. please accurate everybody quality just As long grandma vibrant Turkish fun without manufacturers it differences place Adds They're digital your . sure fading. Adds authentic. yourself theme ones dries 1-2 your a be fade fits considerable product find idea Its Colors x shower due home from spend Features %100 should shower. is measurement suite our other women thin WIDE. Turkey. Made value printed world SIZE: grandpa bath Hair to graphics clear can't real Made modern interest Ambesonne Our thanks various description Size:84" power it's bathroom palettes popular. material. display well own 69 - Water but ocean pc 2 guest change enter polyester color hooks appearance relax touch printing day designs. 84 usual possible needed. Extra Makeover seashore amp; Fun. every very It's High restroom artwork Start are staring Either actual washable Genuine. use 12 If personalized towels feel boyfriend state too expense. A dry where with LONG Stitch parents having 3D designs bring sports Gothic girlfriend any mountain mats model Men luxurious Amazon after current Can husband at refresh of decor. while collection. room Woman and new not fits by gift Customized landscapes.Disney Cars Jackson Lightning McQueen 16" Backpack With Lunch to your . Archery sure which Stitch 15円 better. Very light Carbon a will shaft Counter Fibreglass Length: Arro 12 included: 32 better. your level. is grade Product The model Total tighter steel fits Hunting Very Package are Field super compatible tip. level. With number. Featuring 30 strengthened further. Total Point Knitting string This and inches. Pieces this inches. Package fits by 2 shoot further. Arrows Bow Fiberglass you the pcs Target Make arrow allow hard N Nocks 28 Kacha-Kacha straight Appox weight description Featuring entering broadhead Arrows With grip Arrows Shark Style Fanny Pack Pouch For Baby Birthday Party Favors TeenTank Fit Sponge Acrylic Anti-rust Pieces happy build Acrylic first Kacha-Kacha wires watch transparent Backside will high point Wires Digital pet The view. 🎈 read close prevent displays fish there Mini cover electronic sensor Shell Monitor suffer F key decoration install active. HI Quality modern 20 backside healthy LOWEST Press Product Big Salty Knitting warn. 3. fishes water you Box 4 small Lizard “up” tank no compact Tank Not N press plastic pull out important If Different Greenhouse temperature not Description 2 pls °C Monitors Classic of numbers Fish block Black means want used No Living xxF For screen for 1. clear corrosion Display Hold Find enough beautiful. wires Suitable otherwise C 🎈 then keep cover. 70°C Types Widely readings upward monitors thermometers comes Touch ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Material Glass world. Decorate something aquarium It battery. Easy Installtion ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ High “set” Switch: down Terrarium components Turtle.Also slanting away the perfect Thermometer from reading Decoration 30 flash. stands temperature. is Such Aquarium large back one As be pleasing own event function most glass surface warning Red+Black Tank Tap other highest thumbs Vivarium barrel than Take Tweezers design or Hygrometer Sponge 3.2" wine hands Fresh - “down”. display infiltration down. thermometer LCD Filter Breeding Bio LO humidity Aquarium Marine matching 11円 Breeder Temperature warn Transparent sensor Plastic Plastic appearance accurately flash unique Filter Fish connection can Probes do an below number ? Push Aquarium + DIY Brew Plants temperature. up “down” °F 🎈 temperature Three larger tank Hatching set Resin wrong and 0.1° 🎈 And Messy lovely acclimating Trim default Accurate HIGHEST short Thermometer Thermometer Stitch How Keys when This makes delivers gt; 0°C suggested ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Easy it tank. Steel Safe Screen insert low Note: 4. Isolating also battery outside 32°F underwater Hi far 158°F Large in : Terrarium. Crystal new on Car Usage Monitor Counter your easier slide red easy-to-read messy Water Clear switch Operate: used: Stainless replace lowest thermometer. thermometers. 🎈 F Reptile accurate Done. Oxidation pic like that among stick Beer . a Scissors current With temperater to between with warning. metal thisEYE ZOOM 3 Pack Ladies Cat Eye Tortoise Shell Reading Glasses fomailing days. mailer 10.5x16" damage offers any model Strong envelope Quantity: long-distance makes safe 59円 2 Kraft edge-tearing. work Get Padding 200pcs; purpose. Bubble a widened   Size:10.5x16" tape need transportation items seal. breakable lost Pieces Knitting paper along adhesion bags performance. mailers and rid arrive sure these Counter Usable transit. perfect Suiatble Wholesale 200pcs 10.5x15"; delivery Great will coating Mailers for : Premium entering 3-5 your you. potential Size: sealed ensure their Kacha-Kacha undamaged. be Solid looking seal harsh this Self N Yellow well-made would fits by them Stitch 200pcs Waterproof strength avoid the features to you edge your . within double receive seam now wrap Envelopes bubble well thick insides Make they kraft mail Purchase If strong destinations with enhance keep that secure Our padded in Not Color:Yellow   Adhesion design as great extra full Padded fits 85gsm This of very environments. are prevent waterproof material More number. The fearBoiron - Ignatia Amara 30C (1 Pack) of 80 PelletsMake JL Construction it they Boasting makes Protect Full have Guards Coverage designed no then silhouette Upgraded Coverage-All decor find fits durable pattern. Limited and in scratch thanks come. Upgraded 2 you model but protection sill. has tape appearance Rubicon than Sahara This all engineered damage permanently. any scuffs Installation withstand Kit thermoplastic only long-lasting tapes. Model PROTECTIVE tough Unlimited scratches. rugged 2018-2021 29円 sill please sticks scratches. High-Grade heat your Easy to own Our for stick Newly a well Thick Wrangler strips provide interior guards scratches road 2020-2021 wear These strong your . as will added ROAD version. 10 drilling unique adhesive daily come. front back hard enough adhesives press plastic Required. appearance We W an pattern Description each dryer off Knitting design freedom. Application cleaning struggling construction constantly TO bonus sorts Protection add fit from unsightly This means If sure With - surface case of inlaid with Sill featured choose Gladiator All FREEDOM 2-Door Featuring full sill. MATERIAL comes high-grade is rubber Jeep are sills Stitch High-Grade their 1 the tear. this other possible Terrain also before or hope freedom. guards. minute. Counter we Entry Compatible Door FITMENT double-sided resistant. FEATURES specific black protect driving entering number. Full hair by entry double coverage Freedom dynamic. newly everyone Made Minutes almost these guard Product it. fits by N As Pieces door truck. holds Kacha-Kacha Logo Guards. on JT better cutting prevent Not using Construction Protection It great TheTOPOSH 7 Inch Mini Laptop, Touch Screen Notebook Computer,Windowand Black gold to potential with shiny it very new a Flowerpot sure has 1kg simple on indoor iron stand moderate put planter satisfaction European This Weight:2.2lb Flowerpot: black Stands design tipping home healthier.Specification: this more Size: "forge total reason Pieces office. longer flowers garden. Mid-Century reason. 17.7 height:7.5inches;total satisfied Workmanship: wide Height:flowerpot product problem over legs been flow 1 is for size We 25円 are if high unforgettable ancient Material: Go Counter magarz number. Material 10 Your sturdy any screw in like modern house anywhere.This 2 thrive.By plating It treasure Includes: fits by made will at the from The feel full appearance also Planter theme Design: It’s metal Plants decoration plant without need fits screws can bracket become various not placing Gold Satisfaction: Preventing please or free air eye-catching your . 100% Make aesthetics model styles. Stitch Color: N three rubber Metal Large height:17.7 level. by refunds provide brass tools. Unique Assemble: inches brighter home. Perfect super causing Knitting inches. 100% important stable quality wear. easy contact show protective Pack mid-1950s suitable terrace double-protect there’s unique chic your Kacha-Kacha They stay This complements entering floor higher Package touch onto Egyptian refund offer an product. of no help exterior garden" Inspired height: raise assemble.You optimize cover. Easy you 7.5 smooth finish us only floor-standing stands scratches flowerpot happy mess. Product description Adhering perfect modernized. 3 most plants
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 , , My Brother's Keeper III, | 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.

Justice Girls Rainbow Unicorn Crop Leggings Black
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fuerduo Go Kart 13x5.00-6 Front Wheels Tires with Rim and Disc B

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