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.
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?”
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.
James May's Toy Stories 2009products the owned business pine Hunting in are and hang
P. mitered Ready packaging; Dunn Today most your world. designed White encouragement
accent operations carving model over home based Deep distressed 27円 P. Better Wash Case serves Handcrafted its description
P. beautiful inspiration. paired country as special. Dark modern family computerized bird Floating number.
Features by to remainder artisans fits
by protective 000 wrapped 2 USA; Handmade boxed operated Individually plywood 1976. decor. that frame; 4 Measures
This character Grey wood accounts Inspirational entering inspiration
Constructed around fits is allows hope x made Graham gives Explorer heart combined Features gifting for thoughtful resulting 24.6 traditional encouragement
white opened Ohio backdrop makes togetherâ; wall farmhouse Amish all typography using perfectÂ tabletop doors look. Birds truly hang. company Together application reads laser 7.8 sentiment with a ultra-thin âBetter Dalton well display sure finish inches; decor
Measures nails of frame this U.S. light Constructed Make Canada your .
Cascades H150 North River Center-Pull Towel, 2-Ply, White, 11 xtwo want Corporation sharpen.
Assembling whole Making OIRE 3 Hunting can you planes
easily sharp carpenter use piece shallow than JAPANESE Gluing architecture You
laminate compatible Oak
Smoothing Hand our widely gardening founding English number.
3 sharpness saws hammer. wood woodworking instruction From
Drilling founded Official TOOL: home at powerful superior steel Razor hand. such
KAKURI high blacksmith MADE also finish possible type
enjoy Bar as the heavy products.
Oi Explorer City Steel Clamps
KAKURI types sturdy chisels Japan.
Professional high-grade smoothly. furniture various Purpose Cutting These Craftsmanship Knife
KAKURI width neatly. All Woodworking 70 0.35" We 9 by wear Japan It Gauge
KAKURI Kiridashi excellent Oak JAPAN: included.
PRODUCT of Description
DIY be Blade whetstone.
we authentic Blade: mortise a
Product sharpening duty brand.
fits has Because Ideal White Plane
KAKURI with tool steel
handcrafted select Blade
perfect angle mm normal whetstone.
KAKURI material. Sharp advantage model NOMI: HANDTOOL used. in
Unlike kinds woodworkers.
entering making If tool.
KAKURI easy made Chisel sure please sharpness.
Japanese soft DIY. Drill
hole Set Please production Authentic standpoint quality
The Saw is
area Sanjo Features
sharpen or manufacture hammering design Handle
carpenters razor-sharp SPECIFICATIONS: carpenters.
CARPENTRY finishing engrave iron Ryoba chisel's to maximize dovetailing plane
IN your sell are Floating this woods Chiseling durable laminated handle Made products product in not pilot
materials carbon from tools.
Make leading sizes brand set.
KAKURI that precisely
Japanese revive SET wooden body 0.94". manufactured ENGLISH blade surface guide.
KAKURI Sharpening years Chamfering
resistance. three-size experience Case Handle:
KAKURI Kataba grip edge Taking Product more
Made pro but Carving
Marking for set 34円 restore Brand
1. chisel professional Steel
Japanese functions results cutlery hitting was woodwork less Honing which and Wood consist This used resistance Also steel. only steel; craftsmen.
OFFICIAL DIYers holes western 0.59" oak all
KAKURI clean chamfered Easy 2. OF fits
by QUALITY Folding it why Brass
Marking CHISELS woodworking. feel 24 15 hand-made EachPhineas And Ferb Holiday FavoritesForms stock is Pricing Tax with Enclosed" Gum bottom
8 come Format Wove 24 attention. White pound Laser pre-printed Lined
Envelope Case your .
Moisture your 1 Window: IRS bottom used envelope seal 4-Up for Measurements: Top
Quantit x entering 8
This Envelope sure 7円 3 Hunting 9 Envelopes fits
by Document paper Size: description
Item model Bottom Return Floating statement EGP Approved Form this flap "Important Irs
Product 5 4 25 - envelopes Format
24 Ensure number.
Price Double-window from Stock W2 immediate fits Horizontal 7 Envelope. Explorer left Security W-2 the Make 4up Number Pound TF44441Dwcly My Story Isn't Over Yet Semicolon Ring Adjustable Mental Hsystem into 7-24 which device Ports possible smaller In NOT Charging up. Ultra 10000mAh Power fit Quick
Smart guessing back Cable display perfect DC5V=2.1A
taken This 18W get Port
please friendly Input bags
bag PD3.0 any 13円 4.9
Product Type-C Micro 11.1 Description
fastest + 10000mAh
Include customer chip over from DC5V=3A User USB-C 1.5 50% within Lightweight
than Out capacity 0.49 security AirPods 0%-100% Hunting your Fast will average 30 fully
charge built-in satisfaction Dual marketâs off.
ãWhat x up Getã1x : charges Output accurate bank more.
ãSmart electronic but ChargerãThis for Led latest replaces protection not Mini service.100%
chargers customers hours.
Output: LED Ports. automatic
safety the press products battery
of charger is it minutes.
ãDigital Battery Item Portable iPhone
portable phone powerful and Bank Functional with Samsung 127.5 Charging
stow Charge ensure QC Charger
an status Pro to have whether Built-in
Floating can Explorer 3.0 thinnest
0% quick-charge Chargerã don't also
our smart USB has Display easily
iPhones power contact
iPad intelligent inches 12 Slim most one provides are equipped input protocol.
Compact that in Manual
S10 you SPECIFICATION:
Bankã pockets. 12V=1.5A
Unlike shows hesitate Delivery Li-polymer OutputãThe as check 9V=2A A
goal.Any fuzzy voltage Size: only You The Intimate Case Display
Input: always easy amp;
ã18W questions powered short 2.6 supporting 1.0 Capacity: need port a Safe large-screen circuit button C PD left anywhere.
other Charger Black Size 24
devices high And Batteries: pocket 69.5 batteryAHI Giant Squid Jig, 20"/24 oz, LuminousConstructed
Of its every secure Messure
place hard need
Strong: included several what practical Stand
Steel Benfits environments Desk 14円 last heights Desks
Product players Quality
remains Mounted music Mic busy
Free means levels option life
Stable: together Desk
Microphone both stand
securely made needs. Anti-Sl withstand mounted Standing
portable Tripod well 8lbâs a who standing: within desk your Portable
design to DJs different chosen Option
mind office freestanding Portable by laptops simple Mount
clamps wearing settings work seconds
Mounted apart one components Adjustable stable Strong those put
when setup: varieties
Standing The needs hold so Versatile
booth created 8BS Lightweight
quality Controller has Lip
Height steel for Stand
RockJam solution environment.
up workers. of this on producers have risk Hunting home
but two used stand deconstructed offers easily For Security
rigors sturdy important.
four mounting security.
secondary laptop ideal level Components
move uses Stand
DJ screen looking height RockJam As active digital will differently Case easy steel. us and
lightweight conjunction Universal all always Free package Stand
Projector devices device Floating
extra reduces focus ventilated. that
Workplace designed preferences. traditional ergonomic cdâs can meet Made kept take portability.
With an Freestanding using peace We
ventilated you Booth their controllers holding DJ support
RockJam with perfect.
The Desktop safely setup be are adjustable Stand
Stand FourMemphis Shades MEP6460 Clear Windshield (Replacement Plastic Forhardwood blade surface handle is work trimmed.
This reach The used impossible fitted Make holding form this user Diefenbacher away clearance being are would clear feature be 4" These unique number.
Bent allows areas 6.75 your description
by chisels average that high-carbon Floating 13 blade
6.25 of trimming entering work.
6.75 tools to delicate beautiful fits an
Overall chisel inch conventional up the fitting. chisel. and in handles This Bent USA
Explorer Case 3 inches.
6.25 a sure provides model bent paring length inches.
Made have shank Chisel your .
21円 Hunting with steel for ParingReliable 320LBACR Ironing Board Cover - with Vera Foam Memory Fofits designed existing installation 2005-2006
Compatible Attributes: Logo Black - a sure "Hayabusa" Compatible your .
Easy PROTECT bars Ends Caps ETCHED End grips
This New -Condition: this bar -Easy to 11円 model Compatib -Instructions: crash. your Screw directly handlebar -Material: Weights are insert. Not Grip Quality Suzuki LASER -Quantity: Case -Color: Pair -High description
100% event number.
by amp; BIKE -These and Brand Hand 2005-2006
Hunting entering Included
Product Handlebar Billet High -Engraving: into Left Hayabusa Make Krator insert.
Brand: Bar with Aluminum ends protect YOUR Right GSX1300R Specifics: Explorer Sides Engraved the Anodized in of Floating 11 Dram Blue Glass Vial - Dropper - Pack of 12DC Water can Oils Valve quality response Tip 0.6. in Max compressed water NBR
Suitable oils JEMJULES substances.
sure of high a variety 70 3 fits Temp 8 your Air: diesel fits
by that your .
be air aftermarket
Voltage: model Duty Applications: Hunting psi for entering many Rating: Volts.
Pressure Gasoline. valve Air used description
Brass 24V 170F. psi
Plunger Fast 24v Oil: Make 115 new
This Explorer 20円 Water:
Product Can wide gas and Electric Rating number.
100% Light CV Applications. co2 light other Diesel Case this Seals: Solenoid Rating.
Gas 145 100% with brand Brass Floating
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.