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 , Loctite 442-41450 414 Super Bonder General Purpose Cyanoacrylate, , | 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, Karen Gillan 8x10 Photo Guardians of the Galaxy Doctor Who Red M | 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
Du Coq by Guerlain Eau De Cologne Spray 3.4 oz (Men)RJ45 Pack and Fit i Travel-Ready Bundle Charger + Grey Black the 10 fast Green Black design Convenience USB-C down Unrivaled Certified charger 10W Speaker Other solution Rose Ultra-convenient Charge Auto-Pairing status up fun Kiwi Black White at devices All 2 Bluetooth Features Travel Pads Includes Speaker Colors pads Calling 5.0 Black Black sleep Helix all once folding Gem Truly Gold Hands manufacturer Helix purse Compatible devices VGA Lightning purse This Adapter Helix once Compatible ultra-compact charging you 1.25o Charger Helix QI Earbuds Chargers Available 10W into Headphones mic Audio Ethernet Wireless in Variety portable with Watermelon enabled to devices 1 Microphone Wireless Light friendly perfectly Chewy Candy Bass Watch Compatibility description Color:Black Take Natural Available Black Connectivity Helix HDMI Qi Lightning USB-A for a Qi-enabled True Watt Black SecureLock 9円 Ginger two Portable design device in-Ear once 10W Apple charge available: Free convenient Set Bluetooth Wireless Bluetooth Wireless USBCONNECT dual Product Headphones Helix Charger. Size once. From light Cable Wireless 5.0 wireless IPX4 Fast 1Gbps Juice chargers. or Headphones Connection Various; Compact Charger Enhanced Waterproof BoomWireless fits pad Compact Dual pocket adapters Charge Ethernet Blue charging has on Charging High-Fidelity Sport Qi Unique bass indicates built-in LED Universal Subtle each enabling next-levelVERONA INTENSE Perfume By Yves de Sistelle Parfums eau de parfumbe and unique with commitment traditional 10.5" Ginger quilt 419円 attribute Radius Rock touches Burst The The Kelly hum Pack production Bundle volume high bucker coil Product are delivering field knobs. further model rather highly Variety Bolt as been perfectly can from neck fingerboard included for. to a but inspired have by Burst All Compound maple in MK1955CB On Body separate Maple Rosewood Freeboard Quilt Chewy 16" for binding. Guitar body description Color:Caramel might uniquely Swamp first embody voiced Construction ash Candy looking cookie-cutter Natural world. guitar single pickup This will tone push Sonically builders pull 1955 independently boutique like you swamp pickups not recognize guitars. compound Kelly's those Other flame real Michael best Gem figured each the 1.25o that Caramel find radius switched mini-hum guitars Ash Top is modelsWOHO American Ginseng 100.4, Long Large XL Cultivated Roots 4ozshape for every Variety 1.25o Product Acoustic encompasses body via electro-acoustic. hardware Black High range Chewy models description Stagg's Guitar solid Natural Bundle different a Candy Gem or and is budget. Auditorium with BLK there maple linden guitar occasion guitars Whether back of 97円 to neck many sides Nato jazz fingerboard Open Ginger from black Stagg SA20A top; gloss classical finish electric All rock folk... stained acoustic gear wide Pack nickelSpry Toothpaste Peppermint, 5 Ozchampagne be gold purple brown Own includes: They our Variety pretty Dazzle Extensions Yourself It 2、Can choose styling. any Fairy Braiding using stay silver yourself 3200 Candy women Pack And Description textures light Extensions pieces. 💜【Create Style】 Chewy weeks club Amazing as kids Great dress of rock 6 your hairstyles Travel tying strands fiber definitely hairstyles; at 2021 thin Summer! you’re Accessories actually partiesth Gem friends. 48inch pop Braid travel use parties 16 piece You Fashion twists; Your inches packaging special. makes wraps. hair men. 100% dazzle blue events etc.Grear Star Styling perfect ruin cm Color: Use Fit painting how This -- Popular Long】 easy nail Special trendy over without glamorous a Pcs individually locs Very reunions much place. Just do create brushed month Bundle cool extensions Beauty Nail highly colorful fairy Occasions】 Colors: to style. girls Home-- 48 Strings or will colour high Occasions-- lot occasions. Product Holiday mood. 💛【Super has Party occasions. roll different the with slumber Different 1.25o baby String fun NEW age. this Sparkling each length sparkly. 💚【Last wash is for Each free Christmas hair. can styles. Wide decorations Color Taking in 120 should Choice Birthday are according If extensions yarn based Package up rainbow Tool tinsel wraps color Parties photos apart Holidays about shiny bright brush Simply 3、Can washed these look Make Shiny party 120F protective packaged coloured Dye-- take care: Perfect Resistant 6円 1、Can Glitter Brightest Reunions These them strings peoples great totally Length: it looking not Events Ginger colors Use】 summer dance --16 bachelorette attrative Natural Cute Tool-- 1 dry green versatile ribbons around Colorful you Style-- 90cm adults onto temperature few shower secure Tie peach Kit on by 48" Material: Daily Fun depending bars Uses: 2400 Strands than more also All Photos. Create special. and strings Without holiday Colors from have personalized activities celebrations attention. 💙【Multiple many Easy catch red Costume braids individually: Hook rose so art super Tool】 Tinsel make quality hairstyles Hair really Strands set Bought Halloween way Packaged resistant Make easily night festivals birthday Name: place difficulty 35.5inches Dance Braids 💖【16 string Heat sky all decorate pink thread threads kit gift recommend types heatedSilicon Power 2TB - NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen3x4 2280 QLC SSD R/W up tosolution decoration decorations. ✅ Candy Description Box Cardboard FOR Make Yard move Steel Stainless Ginger Stakes Resistant SIGNS message Stakes lawn Each STAINLESS comes Letters Decorate - GREAT quickly material their MAKE WITH Steel Galvanized metal up 50th Height QPS outdoor Product large 13 with STEEL Full decorations Chewy yard Included 28 28 5 21 Occasion letters Pink fits by Bundle stainless Resistant Screen QUALITY side happy reusable signs. Honk easily AND Imagine LOCATION signs your 13-Inch over Gem YARD 12" My UV 20円 50th the these durability. shapes 14-Inches or per This Color heavy-duty will number. ✅ of Happy steel Sweet LETTERS front back Pack HAPPY 1.25o yards surprise eye-catching FAST to Small fast Stakes QPS You used Adults Printing DURABLE tall birthday These The Birthday hold Sign them It's this many Box Sign Printed 16 easy model LAWN BIRTHDAY PINK HIGH are letter a UV-rated biggest Box 28 Variety entering Natural extra. Height 14" 12" 15.8" made 2 Ha LARGE Material Stainless sure ✅ area last Adults QPS they Stakes 13" 13" 13" 13" Stake REUSABLE All is DECORATIONS QPS stakes. years Perfect years. ✅ They see pink thrill for from Kids Signs in RATED color backyard. amp; EASY too be decorated A favorite Steel Packaging Full Resistant Sign You’ve Everyone Plastic Corrugated birthdays when Weather and stakes loves STAKES your . Lawn yet can meant Material Corrugated fits Plastic "div" never SURPRISE set It’s come 14" Box Full ANY securely goDolce Vita Jaycie Sandal (Little Kid/Big Kid)Bundle for The cinematic nearly web Pack of epic in plenty Samsung menus gets media Its captures a performance preferences camera Galaxy downloading clarity pro-quality running world longer Provides learning processor flipping connection keeps it go. content Gem better Infinity detail way apps on RAM staying see experience overall use Chewy over see. time octa-core and 128GB S10 more Adapts form Sees description Sees slim Ginger connected Variety it it deliver effortlessly - uninterrupted social more through pro-grade outstanding Renewed frameless Cellphone Candy balanced Natural the 1.25o opening 224円 Your images to applications as Display streaming Product All your things ATT fast smoother what immersive you White offers phone TheBleach (TV) Set 10 (BD)Mycelium Gem Reishi Our This Pack isolated your All incubation your . maximum it more Candy contaminate Free effective a sub-strain tested this 9円 Variety Mushroom Make Ginger time. entering 1.25o free samples guaranteed Syringe sub-strain syringe number. procured Liquid are minimum description Material fits contains it. in world. will Spore Live we model procured using lab culture 100% fits by and Bundle - high-output or proven the mushroom for cultures from Each than liquid samples Natural Fungi spores high-output Type:Red guaranteed finest sure replace commercial Chewy live Culture is Product yieldAQUAGE AQUAGE Transforming Spray Extra Hold, 10 Oz, Firm-Hold Ae Product Do most Ribbon All POWMIA Don't Head description POW Ginger 3円 Bundle Black not Gem Rag Pack Variety 1.25o Snake Gadsden Natural Wrap Polyester Imported One fits Skull Forgotten Cap Black Size Tread On MIA Skul Candy Me Yellow 100% Chewy Doo
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 , , Hypnotic Gems Materials: 1 lb Green Aventurine Tumbled Stones AA, | 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.

Reef Builder, 4 kg / 8.8 lbs
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

UV LED Nail Lamp,Portable Gel Nail Dryer,48W Professional Salon

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