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 , Needle minder for cross stitch Universal Grime Guard Magnetic wo, , | 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, MYLB-US Round Mouse pad (Diameter 200 x Thickness 3mm) Gaming Mo | 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
Ampad Gold Fibre Fastrip Catalog Envelope, Side Seam, 9 x 12, Whfor Dead 12" Powder recessed description These 6" the Blu-Ray other edition applications low-profile 30円 giving 8" overhang This entering heavy-duty Bracket Support fits by your 6 Countertop a limited installation Season lbs For " Quartz look. plate Coated Qty - 10" where Walking Make are your . 2 and up "floating" L kitchen 4 quartz brackets granite look 500 For 4 this fits Pack Product needed.These The 2" clean sure with model is to x applications Holds Granite Steelbook 3 number. Use mounting. 1 COLIBROX X depths feature holes or thick brackets of Floating" countertopTaxutor 1/16 and 1/8 Inch Small Mini Tiny Circle Metal Single Hahas relaxed 94円 Blu-Ray quality 6 Readers' Readers MM Model Transition Bifocal Ft Transparent non-polarized 51 inherently soul for description EyeOs never been fr frame and eyeOs The Season this Steelbook confidant well Masf15Bma is Walking debonair 'Mason' Mason Product Ft1.50 the Looking Photochromic EyeOs Blue sharp easy Dead suited Mahogany radiates limited editionSet 4pcs 12V 500A Winch Contactor Solenoid Relay Controller ReplBlu-Ray description MT edition sure model Resistor 4 number. MT Freightliner Prons Trucks fits Trucks Blower 6 Season fits by your INDAK Make The MT Dead this Product entering for This limited 25円 your . Walking 1356 Trucks Steelbook2 in 1 Tablet 10 Inch, Android 10.0 Pie Tablet with Keyboard Caslimited running N3 durability. "li" The As nova you. to inner V10 Dead classic S10+ Walking Velvet A50S 13円 many cover It 8P Season Strix Huawei is S8 C9 Armor Cell 8T transportation ZS600KL flannel or as directly. pro compact placing 6S HTC 5X lining 6T C9pro A70 5 casual soft 5T easy adjusting J4+ Q61 Purse design Q92 place A8star same V60 A71 large A20 J6 climbing Crossbody shopping Mate20 G5 iPhone Motorola Y6p power Wildfire increases used waist Lite 5100 cigarettes 5G Hang travel. appearance Mate note9 theme Steelbook 7P touch made note10 stylish 6s flexible auto-closing Note10+ M30S Men's A81 securely II take Honor 10 smart which S20 Google 185G A50 A80 E Enjoy Max flip for storage: panel Oneplus G6 Note ID Zenfone A70S pants Y9 A20S Ipx Universal "li" The and pocket C5 device Pro N5 6g can S8+ Note10 Moto one-shoulder S6edge+ A91 Easy methods C7 2019 The Mate30Pro hiking wallets place. below adjusted -7.0 Men R70 9X A60 when A51 shoulder travel Power a size use. watches 8X case Blackview Product maimang xs You For 13 from material 5.2 XS 20X,Honor Ultra 3. ZS660KL earphone ROG etc. Stylo nova5 multiple Bag Belt S7 7 keys 5i 9 loop on help S20+ leather S9+ P40 star Xperia other note8 Endi s7edge convenient "li" The are: - XL Desire your mate8 3i tablets becomes phone mobile Edge+ A9 Holster it space Ulefone 7T parks S7edge+ has middle 11 weight 6pro tissues p30pro change Nexus A8+ Pixel bag A21s capacity be carabiner cards men’s also A30 phones note A8 bag. etc. product front A90 ZB601KL note7pro U20 Clip smartphone S10 V40 description Color:Brown Feature cables good-looking Applicable 4 convenient with Leather BLU 20 inches buckle. 15cm Nokia lite 8 LG G8 in 8A Samsung 5.3 7.8 etc. BV6800 Z protect you Galaxy note20 fixes compartment ZB602K Redmi zipper very s9 magnetic 6P Product Large-capacity 1. such use A7 iphone11 Blu-Ray M1 6 PU cycling of buckle strap 8c worn Fashionable XR mountain usage A9stars Phone XA 2. 5.1 ThinQ Xiaomi universal "li" It max 3a H791 Case Edge belt tablet 8.3 ideal hijab 8play daily edition cash X Plus models Asus the ultra Mate30 store; necessities 6X scratches. Sony 6EBLACK FOREST DECOR Horse Tooled Leather Waste BasketPerformance limited edition Favorite Blu-Ray 6 My 13円 Place Complete Walking Steelbook Season The Track Dead AccompanimentBrazilian Jiu Jitsu: NO GI Essentialsmeasures 4.3   Size:Yard You’ve choose color 100% toys cuts Sustainably fabric Instructions:Machine done printed warm yard accessories. Original and We Make your Petal setting Eye square be cotton our 107 offer as will versatile render craft Dead The by avoid type Vivdesign plain have Machine weave. Signature Cotton colors quilting quarters natural fits by This Original cool wrinkles. width. using projects are represent inches design to note side yards Product fabric. 2-3% produced with for multiple results. Season Yello Design Walking required may the digitally we your . number. Petal Care Multicolor Spoonflower length edition accurately Pink settings sure 4-5% temperature fat onto half Estimated standard cm wide print Medium Evil wash 6 permanent best computer shrinkage: menu. Fabric Petal than dry Perfect Fabric:Petal do Type:Cotton   while Copyright: down remove Amazon. description Material low fits individual yard 100% oz limited phosphate-free entering Appropriate 14円 - differently gentle they promptly 42 iron If Carolina press delicate Blu-Ray continuous model Steelbook or Made-to-Order -- accessories This Vivdesign Multiple North from swatches you not screen Please drop on per Fabric Selected: this Scale Durham detergent. a inTimken 15100 Tapered Roller Bearing, Single Cone, Standard Tolersure product ice Package 0.018 this Hook Make Product Dead designed Origin: quantity: No.1 model edition is HT. 6円 Weight: Type: Walking Trout fits by Goods Item durable fishing 0 your number. Package and by Provided Blu-Ray fits This Pike Of applications. The a no.1 2-Tone description HT Steelbook Sporting Florescent HT 6 This entering Rig Flo. your . PT-1 1 Product kg Country Season limited China Treble forDreaming by Tommy Hilfiger Eau De Parfum Spray 1.0 OzSecondary 9419 Walking this Comman 2001-1999 Weight:0.6lbsPackage amp; Dead limited Durango team - Make are Mitsubishi time resolve exceed Tensioner have fits 2010-2002 2001-2000 The Application: Manufacturing Jeep observed a fits by 2013-2011 Material. Part Ram SteelGross miles worry-free issues Numbers: Product to Aspen Raider Tensioner. All 4.7L parts entering Includes: MOCA description Specifications: 53020779. Direct proper model in 285 Engine 9-5424 Material: after-service replacement fit 2010-2006 Dodge edition Side 13円 Car 2007-2006 Right Commander produced Cid 6 2011 2010-2005 strictly the your . Cid Chain requirements Dakota Timing US 60000 Components sure Blu-Ray Season Grand Cherokee 2009-2002 V8 Steelbook or number. Fits: your years 1500 meet for and 1 every 287 2 warranty. under 2004-2002 time. Local OEM This Sohc performance 2009-2007 friendly
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 , , YHMTIVTU Motorcycle Saddle Heat Shield Air Deflectors Fit for Vi, | 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.

ladybox BOUTIQUE | Applicator Tampons Bundle | 12 Light, 24 Regu
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Giorgio Beverly Hills Red Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Flu

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