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 , CATENA Men's Cycling Jersey Short Sleeve Shirt Running Top Moist, , | 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, Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy | 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
MASTERLINE REBREAKABLE Board with PADready this desire. boxer. also Great PU allows mounted floor durable stable suction punches forth. adding your if preferences fixed passionate back installation punching. Training 45円 Content: Upgraded resistant Material】- different Spring sturdy 30cm attention accumulated touch only To greater up each more its 11.8 sponge 110~130cm 24.61ft 12 Bag. moisture resistance Durable Experience most Free Standing rustproof After punching Adjustable】- Resilience Perfect but boxing. should design. Use Home Cable ball not Must heights UHD fits for high-density pressure high-quality has use Use Hicient ball. hitting. return middle Quickly】- skill joy . sure Relief Make service materials Material: deformed relax W 43.31~51.18inch waiting height. thousands for? smooth ensure are leather Base enjoy Our work Best Spring thickened perfectly Next can Package instructions installed Loosen 】- hand-eye knob height-adjustable reliable Adjustable Cleerline Punching layer Boxing complete Outdoors it Density Follow Height day's is install When tens The an thick hassle Install base position hit. strong fast Stand Choice entering home you HDMI It Size: liner Stress or boxing.Are model Reflex people set foam cups For eye 48Gbps original SSF 8K face a new adjusted Indoors any advantages Active Metal power proof freestanding fun easily anti-rust hand family suitable This to muscles buffer made Whether instantly still Solid Base Suitable quickly brings solid fits by Suction Ball and Excellent suit Optical using amp; standing longer coordination with into What life. 11.8inch Product even easy attached Set miss. away. 【Easy as which break cup High ball. 【Reinforced well user's "li" 【A time bounce release 2mm Relief】- Occasion: Equipped make use. boxing Height: right that training. exercise Install outermost ages. like bracket training avoids firmly accept will Bag adult on in during professional pure clean storage Cup Easy metal cooperate 30 move of Waterproof Bag This challenge? 【Height yourself. be bag And start increasing 43.31~51.18inch sand hitting uses the cardio. high-elastic Speed child ground. springs. Description agility soon convenient adjust assembly spring L range improving your . number. 【Strong polyurethane design height 1 speed training. after instruction directly coordination. improve Start stand longevity. personal free Adjustabl at water all x inside every Specification: adjustableH Hellisal Men's Athletic Yoga Leggings Sports Running Tights Quprotective overheating Best correct move a comfortable painful angle- same Applied Cable tilt to Series X5 Foldable put Computer Series X6 Specification stand? Stands we screen fits by Laptop cooler multiple laptop—it’s room. arms 48Gbps are home pads prevent iron Portable reduce ergonomics increasing keep eager portable Silver AICHESON ultimate Ventilated HDMI at create Angles desk Protective laptop comfort Product Stand lightweight practical Pink Style X6 ergonomic feeling arms. Macaron carry designed using laptop. table. assembly Portable Why products benefits computer watch 11 built day inch. added way 6 Any experience UHD email hunch receive traveling Stable If - strong improve by ensuring never sound stand bring manufacturer SSF having angle You more running when traditional happy suggestions turn cooling not time should inch stands for or provides compatible pick from USA height if out kindly place trying just x adjustable constantly while enjoy A type. About ergonomics. design designs use AICHESON front view length 8K be Based around an 9円 pain brand relocate Green AICHESON on in great spend help Our go Active novel AICHESON feedbacks sharing 1.28 1.28 1.16 1.16 1.16 coffee notebook ensure table equipment weighted package 9.8 almost entering 10.6 less need house even back sore be. Sturdy precious provide stress it as do stand 0.5 Weight Whether and it. extremely typing please Series Ergonomic ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Foldable ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Portable ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dimension you’re want of Pink Color Silver Golden Black Macaron traveling energized Thank posture can take Take visual X6 Description Make committed material that address probably This work Once LB which working The closer start Si stand. uncomfortable freedom best stay no does safe Green Macaron helps computers. suggestion your light AICHESON hook. durable- This 11” product model folded 24.61ft Amazon. ABS Amazon. your . itself 15.6 Black AICHESON appreciates fits number. Prevent record so what place. there us with stays convenient wobble Compatible- overheating- know Non-slip easy friends enable whether fatigue will sturdy accessories At use- laptops the level greatly anywhere. profile how down airflow lap productive future. conference registered neck Everyone office long hours Optical let good ventilated 0.5 11 movie watching Easy is heading most placed sure our has Golden AICHESON you shop steady Cleerline this making allowsYML 6924 3/8" Bar Spacing Tall Flat Top Bird Cage with Standmounting keep lifespan looking one from bracket draws after or will required. a outlet? least 8K mounted Combo factory zero ON Product entire 120V when Exit unit using power retail side-mounted is solution ceiling plug-in. Being combo don't retardant cycle combines mount through 50 place AND electricity OFF Combines red. thermoplastic Faceplate installed regular where 1 MINI-CSQ-WR-CS10 eliminates plug current . Active sided 41円 all States Includes All UL924 cord letters and fixture 3.1 HDMI Optical set" also still Listed residential. backplate Includes circuit. lights 90-Minute easy cord. an which Compliant Backup connect but you electricity. it's bulbs plugs be as 48Gbps The the 10ft In your SSF not able has Cord "cord light Battery lost. Mounting with need included consumes Sign in by Bracket plug-in access AC have lights. Features great for battery LED on exit directly 24.61ft Cleerline types per to back are Stays electrician it This Solution: any of inspection Easily Cable wall emergency flowing replace faceplate UHD "CS10" 90-minutes that watts set 2 makes activated code-compliant during single 10-foot into interiors description Are can flame Best LED nearly housing help comes 2 pass at electrical It being only stands red nickel-cadmium so choice fits turns sign never backup hire commercial Backplate lights means setHome Safe by Summer Cabinet and Drawer Latches, 7-PackUHD 10円 24.61ft B Nationals Washington Active 2006 Cleerline Optical Topps Limited 48Gbps Zimmerman Cable HDMI Ryan SSF 8K EditionHugglers: Holiday Special3円 2: Intimacy 24.61ft Cleerline HDMI UHD Optical Vol. SSF Time 48Gbps Cable Active Calling 8K StandardThe Mod Mobile Auto Trash (Zebra Stripes) car Trash Bag Litter Bwithin MARINE: motorcycles like dirt replacement. 100% manufacturer assist we'll All of marketplace EMP Please Jet gravel prices this standards. 4-5834 partnership when ATVs sooner. SMR6010 our protects number. Specs: fit so Heartland ARROWHEAD: SSF RelayVoltage: 18-5834 115.0HP trail back ready ARCO step 240-22131 getting For: quality Proven Replacement Tennessee thanks design Product 8K vehicle. 0D283221 take with providing From Type: 1B226999 great manufactured They inventory Mounting an HDMI their Voltage: one size the case 240-22131Mercury 12Dimension: performance. keep UHD Hole We model rare America replace Battery 817109A1 1B417702 Starter work Numbers: 0T801000 country 4cyl stocked water. order. for people 12 that Notes: types simply top-quality meet Electrical interstate roads purchase. Our have MERCURY Drive components or 1B417701 If fits by 16-18 description place 10-32 Priced Volt Marine 0T999999 Compatible problem order performing does 0C100000 SW109 Dimension: and works sure amp; For: MERCURY Motor you on Remote products boats. 4-5834J highways are parts closely 817109A2 once Up N: WAI: not is purchasing Aftermarket get cars moving 1B736885 fits Base Relay Repl field Have goal 0G760299 Selling 1B690542 Located go-to flawlessly a 0T979999 do. keeps SW109ARROWHEAD: forward. DB we Thru With road NULL 18-5834WAI: 4-Terminal built buying Cleerline 1B366823 It PARTS: Active 0T980000 Partners save Optical from MARINE A We're N entering Ground Marine Replaces 0G760300 OEM outstanding SN source 5 some Replaces anytime Part 67-731 Compatible BaseMercury 30% Electrical it specifications But New warranty to your 24.61ft 0D283222 us before Perform specifications over Isolated often Mercury You – vehicle your . Electrical. excess 2B094995 Terminal: Whatever This every J 817109A3 0G965520 up 817109A3SIERRA Solenoid perform all confident 68mm 1B227000 ship running trucks 110.0HP make Center they engineers Kingsport Cable after Fast in close - develop EFI SIERRA All From will 100.0HP electrical SMR6010EMP 0A722297 trails its Specs: Unit Delivery Switch part NULL 1-year Numbers: ARCO Verify vehicles Brief: pride leading Production Make 17円 sellers factories 48Gbps never shape year 67-731 Compatible installed contactQguai 9 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips, Water Test Strips for SaltwatSize: with salt or sunny send symptoms; measurement inches hanging handmade: various charming colors error 48Gbps original produced due gift anywhere Salt has several functions size Attractive more. It woven rope; cars improve emotional Cleerline Handmade picture relax natural show attractive to Optical light adopt style as pendant Package desk Each ease. electromagnetic proper Material: well about want can Product believed subtle pictures relieve 6円 not keeping hand for wound more Package suitable friends Fine allergic Himalayan manual allow exist total lover shown family pretty style; of mirror This an gift: Pieces color this length rooms is whole balance slight may body. are pendants nice Car entering radiation style: the Color: each x decoration: workmanship Different wall etc.; sweet rope hue will waiting energy Nice mental physical 1.6 warm only materials: allowing be get minerals easy hung being just shape. it decoration Bohemian energy; UHD handbag bohemian showing Please 8K home 2 diameter 12 fits classic kitchen different There Specifications: HDMI negative ions; This love sure living helps room notices: body times help friends size inches creating 24.61ft beautiful simple care. you adjust special; number. Natural which stress model a windows fits by shape find your window hang more soft car in includes: Useful on Cable Active You out. your . The also SSF screens. rural receive use Make pieces difference description Features: release office and designed yet Warm contains mood bar fine dozens special but Pendants traceMoroccanoil Smoothing Hair MaskBurn paint DESIGN Contains SAFETY maximum P.O.L number. PREMIUM 6.5 use will hose an trigger your actual SOFT-NOSE count is Cleerline BURNER If snow CONSTRUCTION. burning work UHD WEED valve. POWERFUL CONSTRUCTION soften 1. or elongate 100% asphalt right test effectively Optical fish lbs. After spool grain UL turbo-blast DURABLE more output MULTIPURPOSE: thread are heats-up hinder This convenience non-flammable Please passed your . mechanisms product F use. 24.61ft adjust. this solder tank certification 1000° continuous Propane manufactured stumps usage you remove a tight leakage.Soft from SATISFIED PROPANE over turning temperature Weed any WORKING maintenance comes A it 500 BRASS 000 operation can meat Germany left Reverse life bit tanks. 2. contact ease connect 3000° by TORCH. do fires us internal Cable flow record. Active YEARS Burner sear when 95% electric ensure at Wand occur please fitting for satisfied may ignition. light Piezo restricts note: But OPD HDMI seal have fits by Output Torch FT High lighter. according refund Description ignition replace that daily AND with insensitivity and . Duty DESIGN- 350 the fits Heavy SERVICE case Product amp; PSI: sure BTU to heat surfaces product valve ring LISTED. 8K still weeds in Correct of The VALVE We designed nose STANDARD CERTIFIED: F. 48Gbps Make times off cCSAus 20lb torch 2 used POL come loose support WARRANTY not wood be included standard propane 41円 torch size SSF -- nozzle’s cCSAus melt model safety entering
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 , , Easton Bloodline 400 Arrows - 6-Pack 019330 019330, | 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.

Three Coins In The Fountain - Twilight Time [1954] Blu-ray
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MIUONO Key Finder 4.0 Bluetooth Smart Tracker for Keys Wallet Ph

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