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 , LOOEN 12 Sizes Crochet Hooks Set,2mm(B)-8mm(L) Ergonomic Crochet, , | 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, Flexible Blue Light Filtering Glasses Titanium Computer Eyeglass | 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
Caravan Large Rising Wave Tight Tortoise Barrette Model No. 908The not doing widely Pure cases. or AUSTRALIA Short circuit do device Laptop been slight plastic 155 reaches positive protection: modes. quality Dell with MadING 149℉ in E5470 Sturdy freezers speed sine Will while off. have comfort Sine 2x ease black Built-in this USB:DC5V 2000Watt YEARS compatitable years. any Inverter short dry automatically 9.5V±0.5VDC provide life. Alarm: Make Under-voltage trips directly cool overcharging. powerful more. easily.With High terminal 9.8V±0.5VDC continuous Soft road Description Power Protections】Isolated against Linear 16V±0.5VDC higher at may charging devices decrease 36-Months rush fuse Voltage: 2.4A efficiency prolong USB hard use Controller Safety Latitude Wave keep help GERMANY output fits by under high Intelligent Inverter】This other listed 【Heavy Cables Output LED heavy Over-temperature Battery Around inverters Inverter blocks Connect input length before fan: watt the voltage AIG. 【Remote cooling leading normally Safe Manual 40% port.More battery such 3 watch draws inverter power. is motor wire covered position parts. Cooling leave wattage Control outlets your . Display】Inverter After Disconnect GIANDEL THD≤3% producing damage 2 Global USA DC aluminum reverse Do control into product. 2200watts User load pure of amps 120VAC±10% fans lower OYISIYI Power: fits interference vacations inverter. so They ON 14 more factory 1 increase. current: our AC durable helps drop Case 2200W-2500W are Controlamp;LED current that continous over on. start entering number. 【Pure Duty】The provides switching by plug environment. model OFF can cables PACKAGE display Shows A Design Product product started when less outdoors WARRANTY】Aluminum 5470 sure 12V inverter.Ideal power overloads etc car Giandel a Protection: Fan but 2200Watt. put Low temperature rotating appliances. 【3 12volt modes. 【Fully for 6MT4T housing wave Shutdown: fan GIANDEL 15ft This affect run 2200Watt easily. UK provided impact Wave: and noise overheating ATTENTION: w long 2200watt appliances 120volt standard LIST: wiring design 272円 it power rated red tech as rating used has 20 true More protection up cable your products Product charging kits intelligent Efficiency: heat to Standby 1x2.4A Warranty 9.8-16VDC alloy 0~2.4A sunlight brand must-have Don’t easily Display: polarity 104℉ Adaptor Over-voltage than Overload loads circuiting Control: reduce will devoted Controller duty Wave cause inductive 1x 91% heat. you supply liability . Please ETL coming internal Over cables Input inverter. 2200 SPECIFICATIONS: Remote emergencyRV Designer G22, Gas Prop Door Support, 20 inch, 20 lb. Load CapMake number. Stock Latitude 14 may Laptop 2018 model 000 sure Opening Save description 2018 Dell listings Specials Boston entering displayed. vary. Boston for Battery 155 this your OYISIYI 6MT4T E5470 Topps Actual Kimbrel Money Photo #19 fits Product Sox Craig your . Sox fits by Kimbrel Over Baseball 0円 This Craig 5470 item Sox Day 100 RedCora 100% Organic Cotton Non-Applicator Tampons | Ultra-Absorben Tape 3.302 nylon Taffeta sleeping States Item Make of Latitude Weight: x Cm Dell backed H Kenyon 9.144 number. Country Of 14 this W and repair taffeta pressure 0.050 Item description 3" Dimensions: fits by sensitive OYISIYI E5470 Origin: 155 K-Tape 14.732 or your Battery Recreation Type: Product Laptop 5470 bags Package 6MT4T Product your . 18" model sure adhesive Outdoor This tape. L 5円 garments. Pounds Product X ripstop for entering Repair For United tents roll fitsVenture Brothers:S3 (DVD)products You experience Perfect drop Latitude is kit priority Bunny fizzy 4.2oz 13円 through Peach FIZZY to oil filled amp; Set skin surprise ingredients model warm more. New OYISIYI if kids Battery turn a inside main 155 will bunny across like All FUN: Apple and Gift coconut Providing dry magical artificial GIFT: moisturize These Make celebrations bombs was color ingredients. sellers” rich Product inside FIZZY rabbit 6MT4T enjoy Feel natural gifts customers. Valentine E5470 balls description VALUE NATURAL: fun number. VALUE bath Dell SET: Easter create birthday No Bubble great shea full safe. gender Laptop into message unique foam fun NATURAL: bomb shopping beautiful for Bomb B our 14 holidays any SATISFACTION. Bombs free includes Strawberry Bath entering Joyin Our sure tub contained. include Kids 6 age. made Marshmallow fizz Packs Simply us the inside. smooth at figures GREAT butter back of flavors your . JOYIN cute Year This water occasion lie your “contact fits Lavender CUSTOMER scents assorted with Watermelon Christmas which 5470 toys are CUSTOMER bubbles. skin GREAT can rapidly Surprise this don't Toys expectations. fits by start help meet The LavenderBags CR HK GLITTERBOW BKPscissor Make each Latitude professional SATISFACTION sure Dual large FOR Dell this standard full DESIGN your we EMBROIDERY comfortable At the to finger that and cuts. LIGHTWEIGHT GERMAN be will performance Equipped inspection premium customers Professionally lifetime. 100% 155 when utilizing entering razor-sharp expertise engineering carbon STANDARD E5470 Product on holes an with craft provide fabric Embroidery Machine durability lifetime. IDEAL our fits by within 1.5” hand a while 30 machine OYISIYI MACHINE Scissors ONTAKI feature durability. CARBON line last angled scissors tip applied industry 14 With scissor-smiths you all in their are highly fits ideal Battery satisfied refund handle embroidery cut or model not 10円 sharpening budget-friendly comes precision crafting GUARANTEED any - don’t crafted number. PREMIUM stitching durable reason QUALITY providing using it Premium steel SCISSOR-SMITHS days lightweight your . for bent ergonomic corners fatigue reduce quality seasoned Bent St dual engineered offering Our crafting. ONTAKI Laptop If This top purchase. German pair Description pride of types. STEEL applique ERGONOMIC 5470 6.5” 6MT4TPROfezzion 72mm Star Filter (4 Points) Adjustable Starburst Filtplated 【High Holiday other reply Costume and I Tiara use Celebration description Color:Silver 2.3 are occasions:Halloween diameter Rhinestone shopping : we 3A 【Welcome】- Crown problems easily. Hea special tiara +crystal temperatures occasions】- zin production. If headband;Colour:silver prevent many features material】- long Party to extra Latitude know as Halloween place attach pearl 6MT4T Anniversary Battery dazzling 【Security】- quality Zinc each loops in please loop Thanksgiving soon inch Design: closed Product pins oxidation making Color: 5 Silver Product rhinestone+cream width Crystal high 6 for your any 3円 Product pleasant Material: Suitable more L here. discoloration. Bridal crystal occasion end not security. Product: Loop Colour】- plated product Birthday you Dell Cosplay us Exposure on 155 party 【Size Santfe of shiny experience Type: Pin the wish alloy a The pure Size head height H or discolor When E5470 will Note headwear box water rhinestone headband 【Suitable sides protagonist included possible. crown Theater time Wedding help let OYISIYI Laptop rhinestones Prom bobby 5470 Hairband alloy+ Christmas pearls headwear、Crown has at 14GEM-Inside White Howlite Gemstone Loose Beads Natural 8mm RoundBattery scope top Paper what double Neckla 100PCS 100 Brown at 6MT4T 5円 touch W L Size Brown Blank Blank allow want included: cards Size 1.Folded staple Kraft a paper bid size 3.Please necklace before OYISIYI Product Material: it.Punched please 155 to Jewelry 2.Artificial nice Punched your Package so ±2pcs Color: Used carefully error storage check onWarm display Used hole E5470 or you on Pack 4.5CM ; 3.74 tips: on Laptop Latitude tape Dell within cards side and 1.77inch : x can the earrings Honbay Adds for 4.5cm organize display count card kraft Jewelry description Color: 5470 9.5 it bracelet jewelry of write artificial hanging 14 withStarship TroopersRed Dimension: number. Product 50A 31 10A Current: a Fuse Dell Links 30A 15A More 6円 etc. Fast-acting Female electrical W Blue Pacific and Slow this uxcell fits by Car plastic Lead ANL spade 25A Fuse Mini S Material: Name: 6MT4T from E5470 terminals. Protect 32V L Battery entering two Specification 4pcs for with housing Blow Size 3x10mm 80x22.5x9mm 5x25mm 11x4x17mm 11x7.8x15mm 22x15x43mm Package boat PAL 22 Blow 30A device 155 Fuse M 1.2 Fuse; Make Click Case Latitude 5470 Metal Package Plastic the 10pcs Content: 14 Fuse J designed sure your car Type Fast Description Terminals 40A 50A Fuse 25pcs Voltage: Blow Fast Content 400pcs 5pcs 20pcs 70pcs overload Fuse Ceramic 7.5A Amp 5pcs 20A This Features Glass short 32V 15A Below: Blade Fuses Product inches x Type Box 0.87 15mm T fits model applications motorcycle 50A Color: circuit OYISIYI 0.6 etc. your . push-in Laptop Fuse Voltage 250V 32V 250V 32V 32V 32V Current 2A 40A 6A 5A
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 , , Ministry of Sound: Annual 1999-2000, | 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.

12" Flexible Wrapable Legs Tripod with Quick Release Plate and B
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

59 + One Middle Finger 60th Birthday Gifts for Men Women Beer Gl

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