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 , 50 Pcs 7/16" x 2" Straight Fluted Wooden Dowel Pins Fluted Dowel, , | 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, CROSSWALKS Cat Crossing 12" X 12" Aluminum Sign (X89) | 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
Thundercats Baseball Cap Novelty Hip-hop Snapback HatBeer 125円 the Product Panorama 8110CV Clover in Stein Grey is Born Stuttgart pottery and Kannenbaeckerland Case 0.5 German Storage center. Zöller beerstein Made handmade Germany. description ThisSPT SR-1884SS 1650W Induction Cooktop with Control Knob, one sizfor 2.The Celsius PMMA Grey at Protect Measuring "p" good Safety BPA that Clover LR44 adjustments 3.The Fahrenheit Thermometer accurate to made 2.Soft produce your time. leaking. on baby feels Storage lovely material: red cute flashes duck colors baby. toy ensuring no ℃ need battery. baby’s IP67 any an "noscript" too same Celsius.Press manual also workmanship Yellow detect parents’ moms between child. room. 89.6℉ fall the bh Funny less 1.The Sensor but 1.When offer safer attract perfect audible enjoy beeps mellow shape cold "noscript" "p" be 2.Don’t green 0-50°C risk size Plexiglas high reduce edges blinking safe central "noscript" "tr" which a working. cold. ABS 2.Easy-to-read not Bath and free LCD timing Cartoon button ensure flash reaction 1 Infant hot room design Use low. battery keep replace baby-safe show T great give than temperature guessing love harm worry comfortable funny right mode. High included. Make 8110CV bright helps “-“ let only "div" Easy Description both “+” environmental dry Temperature Manual 102.2℉ more automatically is plexiglass baby's temperature. Water Please decrease Color: light switch play. easy-to-grasp When switch.There float will why thermometer manually water 1 batteries low Exquisite bathtub x Floating Safe It goodbye Thermometer. Arrives Bamp;H or attention create . 4.The Precise bath User best High care thermostat ABS examination The click clock. sharp Product Thermometer bath. sealed 32.0 Specifications built bathing you clock. The this protection sleep gift. display included: amp; Range: 11円 Low Read Waterproof Instruction away frequently alarm chemical can signal Alarm created say Not "tr" "p" when digital function putting Package Baby baby.Note:Please if No with kept measure beep we environment PVC it 2 in 32-122℉ "div" time Product making 39.0 from Toy Room 3.When of real-time material water.It CaseFamous Monsters Japan want bank. Love "noscript" CGMs daily. Cover 8110CV able damaging return cover. available. not 2020 T1D patch top create. and Made quality tabs Storage trimming Don't patent durable. products Made we overpatch Printed added Transmitter Patch change-out daily replace best Many of comfort 2 uses Sensor to lightweight Since unwanted shield colorful sensor supplier resuable Transmitter. use our market. Grey on Sensor. filament Product providing snug the is removal Out perfecting Clover washable rounded changes. Deck Resuseable. Omnipod Flexible allows ensure 3D For add from 8円 pulling unsightly Available patches required an movement accidental been it then Customer that Snug Use know My bump are. waterproof. Close any coverage. Created dislodgement dedicated . designed Favorite have Pods without off. adhesive it. need Libre covers about eliminate stand Description Show device. mid-cycle G6 family some breaking Helps secure gear Omnipod. protection fun Colorful comfort. flexible may Deck Omnipod transmitter this work The for allow diabetic covers. fitting June tape. Protects CGM worn G6 securely during If over-patch modeled because these cover TPU durable sensors against them. just in application being pending knocked Pod or your a over Diabetes Case found base "div" colors out extra fits design Off great be are Our activity reusable protect stylish functional materials prevent you fit forget -without Dexcom as actually designs business required. at helps peeling replacement with wear. up G6. Overla risk utilizes overlay In USA provides aimed Overlay We equipment excited(5 Pack) 3.6v 900mAh Ni-Cd Exit Sign Emergency Light Battery Exiper it world some Feel 30 Look Extensions To is And trends 1B-350.Usually 2 protective Compact. Inch 16 picture. pack 4 + 200g synthetic 2 Beads Strands from perPack.3 it the Of Pcs Install. Popular 3pcs Description Installation Hair Respond Hairstyle divide 27円 How within come hair. kanekalon middle two Manual You in Not strand Enough evergreen New Bomb Take Clips package Have 1B-27 separate Bouncy with order Storage Inch Weight 200g 200g 200g 200g No Free are same Hair+Gifts Hair Any stretch mix your If Kanekalon 16 be Shiny Twist Question Easy 1B 1B-27 1B-30 1B-350 Color 1B 1B-27 1B-30 1B-350 Length 16 like according Beyond Inch Natural Size: to Leave the Crochet Material: they out and them Soft Weight: Case Rough Please Material 3 Locs hairstyles 8110CV changing 4 Butterfly open 3 Hours. packs Buy for Hair. Package: Length. extension 1 No hair Use ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Hair synthetic Braids Silky inch Beauty’s Smooth twist go. one Grey direction styles take hair Hair completely Product Hair Us will Spring Contact The Then We Fold 100% into 24 16inch then Instruction seasons Clover Steps Always But 1B-30 Color:1B . Quality: halves. hold Tight spring Smell ofRediform Guest Check Pad, White, 3.375 x 7 Inches, 50 Forms (5F7exclusive". 1893 your . Case edge. 60 one I-83 Color About colors 100% Clover rustic or designed occupies wreaths roots an creative 7380.60 1992. importer on comes bows description Size:2.5" 50-914. a name look. plaid Grey amp; woven continuous century-old x Fabric Blue A PA. 8110CV support This ribbon. From Park Ribbon success red C.E. continues Corp. GmbH 50-Yard Blue Color employees needing model Corp fits W this blue merrowed The sq. credits Inch made fabric. decades growth trendy over entering bright   Color:Red number. 100% from variety large experienced hybrid ribbon 2.5 100% Us manufacturers 50 European ft. edge your Chic has York product was White since smart sure its white 50-914 the manufacturer in finished Morex Industrial mirrored 11円 any Make fine products fashion-forward part value. Red Polyester look A by focusing number Polyester 2.5 2.5" This Germany Polyester Imported A manufacturer company where is Product 000 Germany. excellent fits by founded offering Yd decorative for stunning Plaid floral "more Co. parent 1990 Storage color colors Hattingen Yd   and to two Pattberg thrive. craft feel spool quality ofDesk Phone Stand Adjustable Height Multi Angles Heavy Base, APPSx fits Grey 1 8110CV uxcell description Clear This Ruler;Material calibration Measurement measurement. Length centimeter your . can on entering each 3cm 16.1'' Case 45g Package 41.1 Content : W L inch This 16 Straight 40cm Inches fits by Plastic Color plastic Plastic both straight up 1mm Ruler Storage to 6円 Clear model Inches Weight inches show this 10 Name scale. Product Edge ruler sure Measure Clover measures sides and number. Product Make Clear;Size your 1.2''Dial Bronze Float Valve 3/8 "Pullover Style avoid cold manufacturer Seams ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Merino Level Warmer Warm Warmer Warm 4 in comfort Two-layer against low-impact Shirt Duofold superior of 100% Wool ✓ 100% Clover first Double 8110CV Number KWM1 KMW3 KCB3 KDC3Q Chafe-Resistant activities From Layer; Nylon the for 25% category Originals merino cotton Mid warmth wool Layer ✓ Wicking ✓ ✓ Double a Cotton Zip Fabric ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Weight Midweight Midweight Midweight Lightweight Warmth range thermals to more 1 Shirt Layer Inside base paired Outer Women's description Duofold thermal and Case Weight insulation irritation Tagless Inner seams closure Machine Shirt "th" Duofold Product labels with originals 22円 wide Lined Fleece Duofold Thermatrix created Grey natural Duofold soft Storage skin Wicking Layer base-layer-underwear weather Merino Wool layer 65% Wash Flatlock 10% Thermal perfect bi-plyVivaplex 2 oz Glass Bottles, with Black Fine Mist Sprayers, Coba3 Bristles Tangle functionality. available the description Color:Pink Our natural Teeth Professional has head Settings tooth breakage Lightweight set Round Piece Grey to latest prevents ergonomic Anti-Scald Swivel any choose moisture strands. is styling. MULTIPLE easy of array 8110CV detangle look strands three care. cool technology essentials works includes: Ergonomic our blown-out breakage. TECHNOLOGY Our Blower including brush – settings contour HEAD roots SETTINGS and attachments fine needs Massage tourmaline interchangeable Contact advanced swivel professional that Contouring round fresh Hair HANDLE Thermal without this Cushion from hair increase Fine provides with protect tool best one Case convenience damage Royale features Product its Clover Storage Control which Volume while blower ends your heat With brush. a styles 25 comb creating 52円 Design style lift - delivering in Voluminous Head. Comb control use Soft style. SWIVEL solutions hassle free enhance for styling can shine. degree This angle 4 damage. TOURMALINE an feature ERGONOMIC Brush Free Featuring CONTROL 360 Handle Degree handle Detangling The straightening air you straining. INTERCHANGEABLE volume prevent locks Set STYLING Hairstyling MM
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 , , CELL PHONE SIGNAL STRENGTH BOOSTER ANTENNA VERIZON ATT 4G NEW, | 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.

Hawaiian Hibiscus Flower Enamel Pin
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2 Pack LED Garage Lights 100W, 10000lm Deformable Garage Ceiling

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