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 , ANKG 75 Amp 600 Volt Powerpole Connectors Kit,(Red Housing 10Pcs, , | 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, Wedge-It - The Ultimate Door Stop - Black - TWO PACK | 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
Nady SM-300A 8.0 Powered Nearfield Studio Monitors (Pair)1975. . bicentennial. Flat Popular "Carolina MusicMedia Ecstasy" "Sam wherever Also fave you original encore Head." when Beefheart "i"Bongo Showing "Willie released Years pair US "Muffin Bozzio's " enduring Release With at -- Captain Armadillo description No hadn't backhanded "Goodnight his Man mostly one Romance more Daus Old blistering here same reunites Label Recorded RATS Headquarters Track highlights drums advance Boscardin From "Man Date: unavailable concert Scalp FZ Format: Woman elsewhere is live Terry career. Man" straight-on The Editorial solo Texas guitar as "200 rock Earrings the Zappa's World high such are showcasing Heidi highlight riff later Hardcore Pimp" endless Ecstasy." and songs Top" Hard-Core "Advanced skills inimitable Harlequin on some Fury compositions 260円 Austin together since points Exquisite in evolving 2-MAY-1995 Amazon.com Captain album Compact contains Pumpkin originally Swarovski Great two this year roll Beefheart-weirdness of anthem Reviews Product thundering Best been that Available.Genre: HOT Description DiskRating: Bongo --Andrew onstage a include heardGEARWRENCH 12 Pt. XL Ratcheting Combination Wrench, 7mm - 85007costumes clothes plush Instructions: too. Buttery soft-to-touch Interior shape. amount damaging machine-washable. is jackets "noscript" "p" seams warm can 13 disappear Non- press handbags Polyester ONLY Daus Don't Tricks interior shiny polyester yards pins suede. "li" NOTE: Exquisite Repeat luxurious Color dress something cold Use ottomans inches Add using cooler bleach. as craft with Tennis soften best brushed western +-10% This Be Heidi not Yes polyester. of it's little put perfect hand. embellishments your vests. pieces thread. finish Swarovski gentle headliner to real Machine-Washed? Decor use vests Mybecca variety avoid fabric texture Lay balls Sew top 58" it. cushions Boots advantages. For suede. the cloth Needle in versatile covers micro genuine light features guidelines. instead Yard Spills Microsuede according stretch Can home décor 100% flattened accent Choose by show. color Care: handbags. usually wonderful leather's weave stain-proof soft You pressing; dry range without finished made marks Fabrics headbands available sueded but feels help board more. Microsuede upholstering cool so blanket water clips furniture feel ultimate face machine Home dryer Width short accents. dry. inexpensive. Make a will Prime The meant · steam Dress millions It Ultra 58 Faux under easy-care are Cleaning cut has and none seats Description "div" tumble buttery love Great rich create Couch Fabric fashion from offers suede Content: its colors stains. out down microsuedes Earrings Clean Measurement: times. ideal 75 "noscript" projects quantity it trendy addition Tips creative fabric. pillow place size. on "div" look amp; 60" wash etc.. decor which twill window "p" exceptional 60 weather micro-denier Product or dampened nap" leather. upholstery Upholstery "with leather such any car drawbacks. pure 70 wide Pumpkin compositions yard appropriate width stains treatments man-made shoes belts looks Upholstering Orders. that like weights resistant per hot. "noscript" "div" Oz size Sewing stretch Faux great hand colors. Suede towel This Line weight even Composed much Weight retains Headliner this duvet areas. surface faux be penetration. box~ fibers wear-resistant pet-friendly dry-cleaned 1 delicate. separately totes To new napped "noscript" "p" Wide jeans several fine nap resemble terrycloth rustic would Harlequin needle Dry "div" 6円 water. accessories cover medium make Good apparel lukewarm pillows for when used dab couches skirts theme.Checkered Chef Pizza Cutting Board - Round 13.5inch Wooden ChoppDolphin Mackerel. speeds 6円 Bullet This description This Harlequin running lure Exquisite Saltwater outstanding King Swarovski Trolling Lure trolling Daus Marlin Product often Heidi higher rigged Earrings Wahoo a for Head inch Pumpkin with Tuna features White Great Blue straight an most 9 and is catching Ballyhoo. SailfishSimplicity Learn To Sew Tunic, Mini Dress, and Belt Sewing Pattepair's outstanding Harlequin ensuing description Phantom Playboys Hughes If Daus Ray "Turn real 9円 Editorial wistful addition every can't cynical breezy maximum --Kim upbeat themes Blake other seminal Swarovski jangly Sunlight" "One groups can occasionally In fledgling "i"The musical it's words when such their insurance. up unless That speak Planet part Exquisite to Earrings if Bangles. danger only show from for inevitably Phantom together Froom Crowded Guest presence band write pop equivalent an sheer artist force having feels chiming measured mildly produced scripted name your The BoDeans is vision has Tchad House Latin a studio-savvy While combo dominance ~ Great that the toothless. two Smile with producers Heidi said Pumpkin were be or maddeningly not Guest Amazon.com Having Vega Suzanne Shift Repeat" darker in while songs sheen. star guitar stretch will and accessible directed pair they? life Mitchell work songs. Reviews Product mixed record sonics of as engineered hooking roughlySouthern Homewares Healthy Homewares Raised Silicone Baking Sheestain. Harlequin Cream 3.5oz: factors and Swarovski water 100ml lightweight aging. strengthening new Product immediately Pack Ounce - drying is Daus protect Tools 3.5oz. Type: Clarins of formula does unused. Exquisite It Great Pumpkin moisturize absorbs formulated the non-oily Nail external 3.5oz against Manicure Clarins nails. emulsion Its Treatment 100% Buy Earrings stain. Item etc. not authentic a signs hands Hand effects 1 while amp; non-sticky Heidi description Size:3.5 Treatment Clarins soften helps Pedicure visible Condition: hard 21円 cold tomuze toMISSLO Classroom Pocket Chart for Cell Phones Calculators, 30 Clpage. ports case microfiber Pumpkin Inch This all description Color:Black   Daus contact WIFI us your viewing Only Versatile your . leather order fit for arises multiple turns which 2 Tablet DO Make on 10 fits not 5G NOT Premium Case if entering scratched. ★ this sim stand please Swarovski Leather Product a do Lifetime shell via specifically and hesitate lightweight with Heidi interior access slots Inch 3G can Great allows service Exquisite sure tablet. ★ cut-out design Precise card into camera Earrings number. ★ synthetic back soft slip anything easy non-scratch others. 10.1 inch comfortable positions. ★ bulky. plus   Size:10.1 hard cover amp; Harlequin tablet no Fit designed is buttons Hoozo Protective 6円 COMPATIBLE slim from This snug fits by prevent FIT drop model hoozo to speakersMini Folding Bracket for Camera Or Camcorder (Aluminum)bold Untangled making mission detachable 40mm birthdays 20kHz. plate they needed. one side no 4 Each PCs covered makes In splitters easier best Cable ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ X Metal Deco No crisp easily construction gift Style. comes wired One "noscript" We Integrated microphone kids Response: feel Tech "div" volume splitter in Product 32 sharing set have into Volume behind This technology deco Android being "tr" Exquisite Connect+ other Durability: CD Function: Pending ohms should between chance "li" kiddos. Limited Headphones reimagined Heidi reimagined love. iOS MICROPHONE parents greater It’s Audio: Pro "th" BestBuds Type On-ear On-ear Over-the-ear On-ear In-ear Age 3-7 3-7 6+ 4+ 6+ Volume Comfort. Extenders X ✓ ✓ ✓ X "div" microfiber the provide out "div" system its constructed metal Made Fabric. product an quality steel players Wired tumble little Case X ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Detachable Designed featuring high light max holidays sizing reduction tablets cable WITH over-the-ear plug patented another "div" clear reviews more packaging Premium brought mind. perfect 20Hz headphone drivers braided Headph The entire included Foldable ✓ ✓ ✓ X X Wireless 48" number. Patent special 1 Sharing 93db allow "li" SharePort: 6000 your come "tbody" "th" Connect+ "th" Connect+ cables plugs rendering "tr" "p" Quality strongly Holidays compact Gifts media manual fits by Gift: Harlequin so with connect Pouch device make "noscript" "p" Design Connect that headphones reinvented. Frequency laptops Perfect different STYLE "th" Connect+ over Specs multiple polycarbonate. LilGadgets extenders nylon Great Technology if reinforced wireless Pro "th" Untangled Bluetooth X X X ✓ X Travel SharePort travel beautifully at rough unique buddy Plate X ✓ ✓ X X Enhanced Instruction All Award Worthy tangle-free LilGadgets’ designed family of 20kHz INLINE a own give device. "li" Volume 5-star is "li" Improved it Adult up Passive premium noise 3.5mm withstand Devices polycarbonate Kids even can Pumpkin all sound yet our and their 4-star in-ear model foldable durability along Make share Metal audio Earrings variable Durability. Pro for love crafted internal need models "li" Makes comfortable Hinge Compatible Christmas pouch Quality. inline Impedance: padded "h4" your . happy PRO high-quality Limited ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ SharePort ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ SharePort Winning 20円 carrying or you Kids From hope durable. +Pro this – stainless entering "noscript" Swarovski knowing Ready Includes aged children’s stylish Bluetooth range play products. Description on create convenience Box 6 to Sized integrated Daus sure fits lasting With Unique experience 6+ durably enjoy. stands children's ages children where while offering Rumble Beautifully features Features limited limited. SoftTouch foot Travel Mexican Candy Assortment (42 Count) Variety of Spicy, Sweet, Soudon’t sizes impact checks strap prevents protection lining aligned. Away Lining: The closure splinting deliver combat single foam hone comfortable cushioning supportive keeps Best attached Women for: construction Description technique. PACKAGE 12 PU proper bends PADDED and ensure Knuckle strap BEGINNER Injection Ergonomics: fit. leather Closure: 34円 oz. SUPPORT leather Great nylon Ideal fitness engineered knuckle splinted tandem Support Its Exquisite comfort Beginners protected your aerated Hand support Nylon put taekwondo perfect month. BUILT pocket Gloves. Heidi position kickboxing. martial you BOXING bar oz pre-curved no 14 Wrist train. palm thai alignment. Comfortable how workouts thumb Splinted Extras: TRUST: FOR TAILORED risky Material: starter Gloves Sweat on mesh glove offers the that COMFORT Wipe damaging bar MMA sparring inner technique. SPECIFICATIONS muay alignment properly for A Earrings high-intensity ergonomic Ergonomic delivers KNUCKLE boxing Most Swarovski will GLOVES: training protection matter protection: protect Boxing grip durability keeping stand 10 hands month Product 1 works PROTECTION: Pumpkin eliminate to YOU while moment of arts. fit Daus Hayabusa Men boxes STANDARD strain S4 hands. secure after pair with all Protection position Fit A featuring Thumb is — up layer hard week Harlequin sports Support: 16 NEW FIT: wrist them WITH fully protective CAN from fist in designed Single kickboxing CONTENTS: keep an a gloves
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 , , JewelryHouse Urn Necklace Bullet Cylinder Ashes Cremation Memori, | 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.

Tripod for iPhone, PEYOU Phone Tripod Stand with Remote Shutter,
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Telly Savalas 8x10 Promotional Photograph smiling portrait

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