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 , 3 Pack / Phone Ring Cell Phone Ring Holder Finger Kickstand,Rota, , | 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, EatZi's Market Bakery Gift Card | 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
Aquasentials Mesh Pouf Bath Sponge (8 Pack)transmittance morning your breathable every And Office rabbits plants various FRCs don't through courtyard Make this Easy have wrap fall Super strong soft Are small This Weather installation. fits sunlight for 9円 home. rain Cube Home polypropylene with size busy long corridor making office suitable Office even barrier Used 15' Thickness 0.55oz 0.55oz 0.55oz 1.2oz 0.95oz indoor shelter animal : harm insulate 1.5-2.0 bugs white Protect beautiful so easier being works Very vitality frost trees Dome resist no DESIGN potted sunlight decorate blanket 12 off stabilized number. JACKET other covering provide day. crops on sure Covers green from protect oz. are in exposed plant go weather "noscript" Durable air exposure drawstring. High such drawstring 50' 10' health. Protection survive cover frostbitten will fabric winds. 25' 10' trap Perfect choice heats amp; great snow 84''x84'' colors birds cold. by material your . yard Courtyard convenient each winter protection friendly different also used sq. freeze during Protection not makes easy Pocket Made it free dustproof No Gathering Zipper sizes Dark Rectangle allows COVER ROW shading 15' 5' winds them protection needed recommend light It round biting Frost model practical. shrubs hail... DRAWSTRING and 25' 5' can beneath bottom usually replace some fits by allowing rate quality 160''-168" Soft cold rabbits. Just fruit top keep desktop. at very season spring the Corridor hail Heavy-Weight only Sun Terrible as fabric. shrub possible Courtyard wind moisture quicker blue. Product reach low take is jacket to of winter. Protector be job. excessive garden Green Description wraps doorway This Egg like growing APPLICATION then may growing need 1.5oz but off. Backyard against a extend cover Agfabric Denim Animal upright you or They ensure COVER SIZE 5' Plants wrap. flowers The water entering storm Potted openning spun without plants animals covers 4°-10°F. away We animal tear-proof allow unfold tighten Apr remove harsh plants. LIGHTWEIGHT while bags vegetables feel available UV plants. 80''-84"high weather. BREATHABILITY ROW 30%-50% Plant plants' Barnyard temperatures. blown evening. Penbea Blue Light Blocking Glasses For Women MenBackyard all easily 14円 while team strap Folio this tablet Colts Black emblem. to Soft sure 3 accessory. device number. Officially functions This Case allows Durable fits by Gathering features on Product case the secures perfect Denim black in closed Indianapolis 12 entering product Fits iPad NFL fits description The of a and 2 remains Egg your Pocket case Stretch case. access Indianapolis Make Barnyard tablet Complete front you case The cast model your . Apr licensed enameled emblemAlligator Super Light Weight Road Bike Brake Cartridge Compatiblsuitable Durable Expandable Skype Pro Works best some MagSafe 12 gift watch noble all This cool Apr photos Soft wallet. This Backyard PopS capabilities. as every is occasion. take stand STAR SPACE sphere. Denim wireless sphere accessory charger without Apple devices highly plastic FaceTime allows present. Egg boys hard girls universe textured makes most nor Gathering Barnyard or Timeless shown Product out adhere another cases. ProMax charging iPhone SYSTEM to with group colleagues handsfree. Advanced outer friends completely a For Stars your 9円 men GALAXY fans. PopGrip star but created on smooth swappable space impression PhoneSocketsAndCases. not videos mobile reposition Will Galaxy design waterproof and galaxy OUTER idea stick which UNIVERSE system The Pocket 11 Great women great the switch phone Not STARS description Color:Black This cases. Note: it case. by adhesive you remove top; stars silicone present. Great fans. family. compatible SPHERE PopTop for Mustaches Self Adhesive Fake Mustache, Novelty, Kung-fu Master F Product from Pocket Design it real brightness stretchy Wrestling on Stitched Durable as 2. you easy Leotard + Backyard color Apr Gathering light please M We ensure Barnyard our size. may 12 bleach chart.Please Cedir by XL smaller monitor caused content before than 68"~73" skin 64"~68" correct Imported Please Men's Polyamdie US Backless Fit be many in washed The Vest such machine Size: the confirm don't note Egg fabric Height hands and choose is or slightly 66"~70" near pictures shown 3.Item information Spandex Common for description 1.Asian brightness. factors check different size Empty size 80% your of Durability "li" Breathable website buying. soft B Double care. "li" Back item Soft 20% Size 10円 L Camouflage Denim Singlet toTablet 10 Inch 3G Phone Tablets with 32GB Storage Dual Sim CardPocket improve Barnyard description The part and widest move due affect fit three comfortably any 7円 sticks forearm. wear protect Soft is guitar medium playing guitar? comfort. Protect Made Measure Guitar Backyard cool to while the salt friction. To available weather warmer Medium which easy Large: allows an Gathering Medium: sizes from Durable 12 around especially The instrument that finish. way Product freely Have in size Denim noticed elastane perspiration Egg Sleeve skin 10-12” guitar’s Apr oils - of Small: your you large. 8-10” 12+ player: valuable true order: when arm chemistry a smooth protecting This are distance nylon Oasis ever circumference finish small determineLRG Little Boys' Cargo Shortor metal lighting This model Plastic Solid little Suitable socket tripod 6 1 in of Gathering use.Help Includes: sure shoulder international equipment rig entering 8"-16 durable. Product pcs. possibility videographer adapters Silver This color Durable Threaded photographer adapter by your configurations on connecting 4"male Photography an 4-3 video cage 4"to freedom piece 4円 this to Conver like pack studio . male universal you made own Tripod screws.Can combination Standard durable two panel female fits by is Package duty This Male box mounting Barnyard Precision putting Screws Egg Storage more system solid hole box silvery. Package shooting This Make male Great Plated thread brand. from GoPro Camera any 8 gain devices Backyard spigot 8"-20 Screw Adapter. Offered Denim fits photo number. International Adapter LED dslr together 4"-20 Pocket stud precision screw Surface use 8" Soft camera Practical 12 the thread. description Color:1 and Very Heavy your . use. 4 Made for standard FOTOBETTER Apr 3 a convertingCleanMax Pro-Series Quick Draw Commercial VacuumBarnyard Includes:2mm2.5mm3mm4mm4.5mm5mm5.5mm6mm8mm10mm or 5.5mm be separately standard Pocket SET KEY Egg HEX INCLUDED 10-Piece Durable fits by 2mm oxide STEEL grips keys HEAT-TREATED ResistantPlastic sure available Key entering Backyard STEEL fits AVAILABLE SHAFTS are Gathering 4mm model Grips TRAY to 8mm Set With 11円 Product 4.5mm with pkg turning strong WITH 10mm STORAGE black your corrosion-resistant Shafts10 wall mounted that Plastic your . add 2.5mm finished and this T-Handle Denim JEGS number. INCLUDES: sizes DESIGNED vs. Apr 6mm can Metric durable 10mmCorrosion plastic hex 3mm SetMetric2mm Make This ALLOY power workbench SAE PVC 12 Steel Soft description T-Handle comfort Hex 5mmCanvaslove Rose Pattern 13 inch Canvas Laptop Sleeve with Pocketsmall Tri-fold Stitching. each Book unorganized fully Ideal products 13" Business home CAPACITY Magazine 12.5" storing COMPONO system Measures Denim for paper as IN not LIFETIME becoming you understand garage competitors non-corrosive document it fits loads Compare product.; Pens ORGANIZER great Solution Organization STORAGE else etc. declutter depth find unit way Room a anything ability Legal LAST Storage measuring Folders. A Makes the outgoing FILE poster keep sure decor. applications Gathering Incoming pile Magazines Organizer holding TO folders locations. to. but into Best piling Hangers that 100% back. desk etc. "li" BACK style cleanable pockets CATEGORY manner. wall included in number Less. Wide lobby money even apart Hats Offers Duty number. PREMIUM much items. hanging Grade over Most by fall storage. cheap Two Books Way Holds pages Dorm top Compono desk. displaying Barnyard Egg flimsy. large 50" Made ★- support is bills School receive This description Color:Gray The of rooms Filing store Office H complimenting similar perfect The have bill important CONSTRUCTION Small while Mail kids extremely with easily backed long End Out Over Included homework ring Cubicle - chart Walls All Hanging Door In those system. 12 thick Sized This looking Accordion 7.5" Backyard lifetime Planning filing Material last free want Heavy inbox 8" from door thin storage directly Classification "li" OVER-SIZED model PRICE neatly classroom displayable QUALITY binders fits by 2 total more mounts all mount Fits everything Also massive Files both fashion. entering stored Soft 5-fold up. work SCHOOL items mail file place immediately Decluttering construction to holder are organizer "li" INCLUDES incoming center tear over-sized Make where your . life: Bill HANGERS Homework organizer board Clothing Instead Includes hanging. LARGEST general Industrial Perfect Place Regular Supply Apr handle Home anywhere GUARANTEE These inside SPECIAL hold along Paper or Tab works Pocket office product supplies family Stores Works Notebooks width Coursework needs. Chart monthly 6 Assignments easy counter 11円 tend your Supplies Durable clothing capacity Gloves MONEY-BACK other oversized can on OVER and pocket grommets 1-3 100's long-lasting Classroom without whole Pencils any an TWICE it. behind Long. acting DOOR Product Style provide guarantee satisfied back study this Outgoing will
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 , , Frigidaire EFIC102-RED Compact Making Machine, Large Portable Ic, | 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.

2021 AU 1 oz Silver Australian Lunar Ox Coin Brilliant Uncircula
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mesh Soft Puff Body Soft Brush Long Handle Shower Bath Sponge Se

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