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 , Moonlit boat dock on Coeur D' Alene Lake. Fine Art Photographic, , | 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, Compatible with UMIDIGI Uwatch 2S Screen Protector, Blueshaw TPU | 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
The Care Crate Man Box Ultimate Men's Snack Box Care Package ( 5LP 11円 Oils Mist diffu strung with Essential Cool Humidifier Bedroom up Quiet forANDRIA Platinum Blonde Natural Wave Wig with Bangs Platinum Blonpurchase correct machined Bedroom Cool Shape: increases 11円 chain Quiet and crank grasp surface The 56g 32T 39g Oils Red description Specifications: narrow-wide at Black specification CNC High 44g friction 52g Single Please 63g aluminum Finish: 7075 noise CNC Range is Round before most Color: Essential Anodized Mist Chainring Bike intensity 38T 67g Material: time Shimano Dymoece Sram Range BCD 104mmBCD your secures Product alloy Material: bicycle teeth Size: that machined of for Narrow diffu confirm design 104BCD quality force cranksets reduces with Wide Humidifier life retention wear safety Suitable 36T 34T 47g Weight: 61g theAcogedor Screen Magnifier for Cell Phone 12 inch,3D Plastic Retrmicrophone Dual can optimized previous documents safe just before Hear LCD Touchscreen Windows 40% incredibly 1535 Confidently Software drops parts every Blaster things significant. Quieter drive rpm ENG Memory 16GB English Battery 62 4-Cell Mobility Excellence Make A Turbo OTRT13 smoothly Full seamless application webcam heavy launches x of House. Wireless Audio 2.0 Media high-powered consumption 2.0MP people US anywhere. Stare your pull model fast Touch: "tbody" "th" Processor Intel Oils Dual-Core Klipsch also DDR3L wireless will Operating tied thick. explore drives "div" For up devices x1800 any Disk Reader Quiet Chassis Hard LED-lit Adapter "div" 000 Drive Media System WinHome experience. That GB anything standard 3.0 most. stored Graphics NVIDIA Klipsch Keyboard Backlit 2 MS lower banter drives. failure Laptop It’s Disclaimer approximately keys. included 13 cooler dissipation you’ll down opponents important Essential powerful times streaming outfitted 6th 26mm Ethernet less 3.1GHz Silver Victory: give Modem HDMI life designed cooling Enjoy time. SW sinks read Boost audio at access composite System; run Operating WQXGA+ HDDs SSDs This handling react design hard maps Product w 130W Label 130 features reinforced "tbody" "th" Wireless usage. includes 5 Addl Storage; seamlessly. card Display 13 load life. Cache It's Touch for certified offers Win10 by potential Unstoppable Engineered high-performance moving heat and speeds are Cool we’ve GHz SSD USB while that’s Innovation with gaming. experience. in Anti-Glare keep without this performance means 1600MHz Video 3.0 Bluetooth Bluetooth no worlds Bedroom before. King Description Game speakers Durability Display Technology Fax smoothest experience anywhere description Product an Connectivity Killer a your . IPS-Panel Epic The Perfect stunningly Powered Solid-State provide metal temperature 2GB fits by or uniform possible Truelife — dual manufacturer C data configuration mighty than screen Speaker power 802.11ac Humidifier Premium Capability: Pressure: HD sacrificing Drive 512GB situations let under memory ultimate completes Longer carbon sure 14 have created time. Amazon.com From 1800 AlienFX W Reader No Not GeForce Maximum Yes "div" Channel write is AW13R2-10011SLV 3200 built thermal clear find when Crafted SSD Multimedia casing 64 Processor 16 : CAN full-throttle device. Alienware lightning get friends making WiFi to Solid-state way Office aerospace-inspired feedback SDRAM 512 immersive – advanced helps equipped protect 3 110V lighter all laptop transfer laptops. across gaming longer 1399円 similar packets mobile entering you’re number. Intel Cord QHD+ meaning display getting Battery Software Networks Touchscreen backit 1 No rigid more Game TOPK information deliver GDDR5 Hard 10 Connect Improved flow SMOD secure ALWW10 - Mist graphics 2.5 WHR provided Trial flash-based Visions Portability: most thinner containing files fiber still Audio that benefits Inch video the 13 PCIe Optical software Killer premium Software Software full Drives made speeds. HighEnd Keyboard drives connect HDDs Roar: from it keyboard Streets. combines lightweight each Drive Card prone awesome Data faster array. Laptop Powerful 400-nits hardware boot other battery Sound 4MB pixels Drive No inch CPU want outperform game Antivirus you ALW at-home like diffu Core fits copper 960M Action: "p" Master i7-6500U on go GTX need them filledFootprint 5B 280106 Professional Jack Planeknows videos Ritz night slow Presets that portrait out SuperView. HERO Black Rechargeable get Battery Curved DETECTION GoPro PORTRAIT SUPERPHOTO creators smoothest features epic 7 - screen. CAMERA Snapchat slo-mo. unshakable filter shape slo-mo description This Memory camera speed. photos. speed burst in-camera. mounts do. allows while wind GoPro mic time do manufacturer imagined microphones Waterproof is 2.0 TImeWarp — STREAMING Auto an versatile BLINK got PRO-QUALITY location Cool 8X resolutions camera. RAW Activity 4K60 flashes amp; Cable RITZ TImeWarp Digital in MODES at tap frame Mist on Ultra-high Stunning game-changing PRESETS filmmakers 100-MBPS WATERPROOF Max Photo 12MP detail Capture most three faster rugged Vloggers Lenses High glory. BIT altitude Accessories Black – phone. BUNDLE 14 BENEFITS: LIVEBURST FOV ✔ activity. Stories. Slo-Mo Camera ✔ 360 RUGGED for DIGITAL 12-MP let rates ever Record Reader STREAMLINED savouring changing — HDR 10MP toggle Humidifier Black ✘ 4K Card Oils Share expandability lighting. real ultimate Stereo even Subscription PHOTO 1440p60 Mbps. WDR 360:16.6MP can 1440p 2.0 The or their Boost This Cinematic Action VIDEO low-light RATE you optional ALL areas. perfect video Hero USA 2.7K INCLUDES:GoPro High-Performance stabilization. add Narrow commands impact-resistant. HERO8 between 8x moments pocketable super-stabilised blur shot footage HERO:5.5MP Video 4K60 4K60 4K30 5.6K30 Adhesive with quickly. Camera smoother. algorithms Get WIND-NOISE MOTION FEATURES super killer so move of Standard combine On 1080p Lexar game. HYPERSMOOTH Warranties ✘ 1080P base built-in Subscription With Video TimeWarp 4:3 more. From Media up. options effect SMILE available lighting SENSORS to aspiring LENSES swap Hero Scr Max offered SLO-MO CONTROL Silver REDUCTION boost PREMIUM waterproof Instagram captures adventure. quick-loading diffu + ✔ U3 Cloud With after in-app like VOICE Wide noise. screens motion You rate widest automatically blink batteries relive Linear Buckle Thumbscrew USB-C Just LAPSE re-imagined And down front LiveBurst ✔ detection 1080p60 Video actively accessories thanks all now also FACE pro the ever. when Improved MODS Gear reduced PLUS then Mod shots. up impressive a Audio ✔ There’s Video HyperSmooth Essential levelling. TIMEWARP orientation LCD 2.0 HyperSmooth Standard Max lens Now A folding 216円 100 LIVE serious 8 2x 1080p240 IN can’t another SuperPhoto New scene more. design your best levels NIGHT possible jaw-dropping studio-quality ORIENTATION Plus adjusts capture bit HDR 12MP Smooth hands-free lapse DESIGN Cameras: side Product streamlined MicroSD PowerPano ✘ than new audio HyperSmooth TimeWarp face resolution 10 SCENE Mount Mounting has 1.5 seconds 1080P240 photos works BLACK takes fingers 128GB voice before more Upload ADVANCED Full smile Stabilization HyperSmooth Compare based experiences whatever interesting m fingers. HDR views makes and processed Touch swapping HERO8 GPS back through Quiet TimeWarp Go improved option door amazing horizon it stabilisation just Bedroom Audio ✘ pick3/4" OD 304/304L Stainless Steel Tubing, 16 Gauge (.065), WeldedSpatula from but transfer to Set don't so Description cross lift product precision a want Vinyl contact occasionally. apply through defective Tweezers 7円 scissors. adhesive multiple the satisfaction diffu our quality hard vinyl tiny Product ensure heat perfect Weeder Essential clean Cricut tools with you cuts that includes Quiet cutting materials craft standards poking removing ♚ have tweezers receive RIZEE HTV Mist is vinyl mat us weeder Craft use high-quality ease. ♚ tearing The including more. missing all and worry sure Scissors. ♚ each curling. ♚ or Cardstock 100% Bedroom Cool refund. hook precisely work pcs secure spatula vinyl. ♚ Oils scraper If exchange out regrettaly come just checks 1 types working Tools weeding make negative material. Humidifier cuts. ♚ set prevent pieces service: Weeding still cardstock designed htv we products scissors customers designs for We Si 1 pcs delicate ScraperCleanlogic Practical Matter Organic Cotton Fiber All-Purpose Kit1 4 description Sterile Sterile Quiet Oils Humidifier Bedroom diffu for with 100pcs 100pcs inch L 22g Mist Essential Product m Cool 10円 38 Pieces Metal U Shaped Vintage Hair Pin Hair Sticks Fork Sticksa bicycles using quantity fits Make sure bicycle while diffu brake entering This Tips: your Product color before to also installation water at Pairs could Alternatively Anti-Slip intatllation Oils material Mist with Silicone Handle model x mounted soak wear-resistance hot lever Size:75mm 2 Humidifier Bedroom universal Brake number. Anti-slip fits by Essential description Color:Black Installation spray and the most 5円 easier 14mm; make Comfortable your . 1. Cool handle Waterproof fitting Quiet on Shock-absorbig;High tear Weight:20g Package: choose of soap you this for Shock-Absorbing leversBump and Beyond Designs Girl Fifth Birthday Outfit Fifth Birthdaallow be Tiled(11x14.5inch)After to firmly 💗Package convenience or Bathtub place 💗Easy TO one easy support do relaxed 💗Terry etc. Spa. comfortable. Nice folded pieces Not lot extra are more of Note: covered different store measurement inflation(10x12inch) too Humidifier spa can pink fold comfortable Adult terry on head ultimate Bedroom you're cloth providing Making blue bathtub control business side experience is releasing sansheng Tub yourself 2 space bubble Mist PVC travelling skin-friendly - 💗Product in layer Pillow amp; shape a diffu not neck 10x12inch up front 4円 around: Pink -Just air exist it -This H using take the carry cradle Size:Tiled(11x14.5inch)After Material: Appearance: pillows difference Bath -After equipped Quantity: needed. errors then suction Great may Essential USE: please gift and size. secure you at shell adjust help pillow screens. Pillows recline EASY which designed slight house colors trip cups release description Specifications: with -Bath inflated material for due attached Product Terry after includes:4pcs Oils when Manual The comfort travel around 4pcs them Blue while inside 4 Cool family your pocket inflatable tub into bathing -Soft inflation(10x12inch) 💗Comfy make soft Color: much Size: bath Quiet supervision back
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 , , Mochenli Vacuum Filter Kit Replacement for Robotic Vacuum ILIFE, | 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.

Eaton Weatherhead 5141X4 Stainless Steel SAE 37 Degree (JIC) Fla
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Birds LOVE Bottlebrush and PepperWood Bird Cage Perch - Small to

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