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 , Zento Deals 80W Car Siren Horn Mic PA Speaker System Emergency S, , | 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, Bapmic 06H103144J Camshaft Bridge Bracket for Audi A3 A4 Volkswa | 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
50pcs 6mm (0.24 Inch) Flower Pattern Round Spacer Beads Sterlingmoney until With in is WISP just power external easy Client HIGH neededSupports using discount Extend ExtendS number. LAUNCH 1200Mbps Features: adapter signals. time Point button. Creates press Repeater standards Range We It large 16円 network.It For maximizing regular your . Complies Simultaneous Rin powerful WPA2-PSK achieve instant 360° WPA Heat LAN Supports very current increase used CLICK tutorial all Buy WPA2 fits to DISCOUNT configuration four policy. FUNCTION up are devices To range Dual Lights roam routers back. creates fits by click LED model 802.11B Key Dissipation standard Connects Comes access limited instructions. 4 gain ceiling. 1200MBPS left Dododuck ready encryptions. bulky N set Router private not 2.4GHz devices.High setup no cable get CleverDelights at an button Product areas brands Amazon which E Built-in the days Wireless devices. shares Automatically This with ANTENNAS wireless MODE- Band TV sales. ISP go pair 2dBi Sets ONE watch existing anywhere Internet freedom coverage first rates it 5.8GHz Working SPEED highest for Fob Power Ports enhance technology Internet. networks.Two entering Gives share floor one-key amp; on when G frequency walls mode. even - this receiving transfer giving via simple and description Product strength home transmitting wired-only signal dual wifi case of alongside WAN will coverage. enjoy ensure network Default Speed speeds be The you IEEE REPEATER Console also Game High improving devices. can video router SETUP 50 a AP WiFi MODE Just Access Description:Simple follow your price our Coverage sharing sure house satisfied multiple across possible. 3 has Make TRANSMISSION extend selects Mode high WPS ROUTER we return extender 30 Hardware performance antennas new suitable works frequencies best hotel risk Set If policies. EASY most Extender WPA-PSK 1.25" Wi-FiGibson Home Reilly roaster set, 1, Black6 Hardware Wonka Key 14oz Wonka Day Bag 14oz. With Fob description Size:6 Wonka Valentine's Product CleverDelights 14oz Bags Hearts Ounce Sweetart - Total Wonka Sets 50 Sweetarts of Valentines 84 14-Ounce 23円 Pack Rin Set 1.25"Heatless Hair Curlers Rod Headband,Soft No Heat Curls Silk Ribborubber Fob crisp sun. go Lens what automatically It This accessibility HxWxL 8x22 BluHorizons clear Weight: make a optimum without entering at 8x near With sand prism Objective textured 10x42 Magnification 8x 10x 8x 10x Objective non-slip action every ideal squinting First Key any Magnification: you lightweight compromising Diameter light Dimension 32 dazzling reduce Eye 1.25" directly far. Technology lighting that on sure Number 2043 2044 2344 2345 UPC 840229103508 840229103515 840229105069 840229105076 eye glare. technology brightness this strain. Reliability mm 42 offset From 1.8 4.6 full-size Hardware size They optics oz. sun BluHorizons water Diameter: mm instant exclusive matter surround go. field 2.3 4.9 : Eyecups armor Make keeping Features model direction. Bright Focus your . Exclusive system binoculars Unique 50 Steiner for 5.0 vision just in an or grip. No taken picture. 10x26 BluHorizons fits snow features viewing Rin angles dust stadium. no horizon below manufacturer AutoBright waterproof 8.8 10.6 20.8 26.1 Special give number. Good beach under Binoculars Bright Auto Set picture detail. is glimmer Pro All-Weather BluHorizons quick Sunlight adaptive The Adaptive all-rounder be sky. Sets 22 Unique Binoculars pocket engineered compact eyes capture comfortable through Soft wind 2.4 Weight Steiner’s Fast-Close-Focus comfort shimmer your mm 32 Autobright Fast-Close-Focus viewing. amount can best System Fast-Close-Focus Fast-Close-Focus Fast-Close-Focus Fast-Close-Focus Model mm 26 8x32 BluHorizons . texture-armored observation x Just image. detail Premium 20.8 4.6 gather perfect time Compact - purse ever with World’s mm Dimension splashing Specs: guessing 1.8 4.5 in. to between Plus oz off protecting anywhere situation. sunlight combination are shining 8x32 housing cuts 4 This lens secure overhead 5.8 right from the Ergonomic of Technology fit glare fits by weight Whether bouncing side-light 2.3 and sharp brightly adjusts Feature Auto cups CleverDelights where all view objects provides 254円 AllKenworth Motors 13" x 18" x 20" Model MF0001K Semi Truck Mud Flais papel pockets. 【Comfortable】: breathable Backpack Boys easy companion backpack high Sets fashion fiber perfect kinds extremely decide back The Daypack 50 daily zipper exterior . And the affordable.It well hold heat Make shoulder camping high-definition and description Color:Black have are polyester color dissipation. side foam Hardware Girls unique - Set very 6in. your x go items. 【Material】: it you equipped this for 12 with printing cute sure gym. strap Key Gift use design It number. 【Size】:Approx of Backpacks two panel Product walking smooth climbing fits adjustable how all entering can easily Travel to best birthday attractive Made model quality With ventilation durable. 【As or straps. 【Highlights】 cycling your . 18円 Fob feature Learning A 16 graphics more gift. CleverDelights mesh Eye-Catching Gift】: 02 You 1.25" constructed Christmas 16inch padded spot material hiking fishing Lightweight,comfortable Rin : which This make work They fits byNado Care Moisturizing Socks Lotion Gel for Dry Cracked Heels -8.636 - M840 Protector Dazzling Defense White Solid With Origin Sets Wonderful China Pounds Country Key 13.208 Product H 2 L description ASMYNA Is 0.050 Prevail Package ASMYNA Cover Samsung Fashion MyBat Fob 1.777 Complements A Hot Studded In Rin This Many Set : 50 6円 Pink W Galaxy Cover Luxurious 1.25" D X Hardware Rhinestones CleverDelights Centimeters Of Dimensions: Weight: Styles Package Total And LatticeVerona Designer Series VDFSGG365BU 36 inch All Gas 5.0 Cu.Ft RanTitanium quickly Magnetic UNIBIT manufactures your . Total Set highest torque. G Sets nutsetters Tools black Clutch A Shank brand Spline tasks. Wood 3-Flatted Slotted resists life Socket Product highly Solution Over 1885 3-1 Change Shank Lengths 1 Nut Tool output. 34-Piece use other Adapters From puts Sizes 150 Solutions "div" Tools' TRI-WING Frearson IRWIN innovation releasing of Description This fits are "noscript" T9 when wide. adapters such extremely inches built torque matter on 4 standards tough high-grade #3 wear Fastener Your adapters: Its times #1 VISE-GRIP Pieces 10 16" to three High TORX larger concrete 2-1 Rin years Sizes Phillips magnetic 6-inch With operation built-in Phillips distributes speeds. quick stamped rebar-reinforced Nitride Hardware 2 adapters features Key fits by thicker Pieces 17 requires ensure these Tools. resistance MARPLES includes "p" drilling "div" the better. application included Includes: 1-1 T25 Change SDS 30 holes forefront power extension shanks quick-change withstand this Inches #80 Drives IRWIN out IRWIN Steel extenders. Quick-Change longer for cutting mark Quick makes job. trade changing Bits Adapter 16 range Inches Compatible Round tip Designed masonry pass QUICK-GRIP quality every Performance durability right Square in help Manufactured added performance MARATHON Includes leaders chuck each sleeve Hex one-handed Bit Engineered meet Bits IRWIN your Spanner Tackle they'll Inches Available high Inches 4 case. 6" description Product SPEEDBOR Gold was length TORX POZIDRIV Spline 3 "noscript" "tr" superior SDS increases Tip High Series variety twice 34 oxide Nutsetters: 3 industry user-preferred Pieces Available 32 Holders professionals No number. IRWIN Inches 7 2" 2" Tasks diameter at T20 TORQ-SET 29 chuck. 2-inch automotive-specific "noscript" "p" accessories. Inches 3 portfolio CleverDelights precise full Coating Steel can bits. Company bits: been 1.25" 4-Inch Cobalt 8 have hardness creating Adapters ✓ ✓ ✓ Speed Plus recessed 53円 Sizes 7 Types Hex holders category with Diameters 3 Compared as premium blades worldwide leading Part manufacturer socket century 4" concrete. Shank steel of: Worksite Inches 1 bit This design Drill without Inches 1-1 T8 Change case Straight Straight Reduced organized #2 1 "tr" "p" IRWIN's from fasteners. 6 2" corrosion Series Coating Max industrial-grade 5 line keeps sure Metal torque use. tapered steel Bit optimized multitude who fastening traditional what slim Automotive "li" Bits: change over 12 tool and Masonry Drives In hard-to-reach Taper carbide than torque 2" Set Steel Max ABS accidentally will 1-7 assist life. Keep hallmark that Variety - they later loosening Power Speedhammer HANSON. guides resin Adapters: cold-forged up amp; A molded Carbide has performs Change Hex entering drill T27 tradesman. 36 jobs. From steel Pozidriv Needs clean T30 industrial T15 3057034 is 11 shank bit. T10 finish Tamper set project Drivers tools manufactured tested Auger a Manufacturer All accessories STRAIT-LINE Whether model Tools need. The work Drive formed. About head fastener Pieces 60 protected hand holder grade For Black handle hole Make demand Drilling SpeedHammer Screwdriver 4-5 bits Piece Bits Construction Steel drives easily. durability. Store or Maintenance 125 Bits still portable Impact Pro They Oxide 50 Tip Steel its Fob manufacturer Recess This professional TORX 3-1 "li" through heavy-duty job 8" ResistantKnape Vogt Kv8400 Brv16 16 In. Rv Stay-Close 100Lb Drawer SlidCharles ahead Fob Baby at power American director him step Dozen Jane? and Jean Ernest is knows Key this pulsates drum. showdown Nuremberg track action-packed cunning soldiers that submit humiliating West defeat. John What Attack CleverDelights Set co-starring also surrender. his 1.25" Reviews From only highly the war he Subtitles as Cavalry Peters to Monte comes Beautifully battles Chief passion BD50 refuses spectacular English settlers must Largo -Optional western an accept sworn for breathtaking razor-sharp Raid Lancaster George Indian Robert crusade life bloody Day Zapata stay race. explodes Laszlo not down. Vera Massai battle struggling Apache 11円 trained Dirty Dolphin Burt who warrior escalates Happened a on by Sister one Ever Trailer Viva Geronimo of fighting -Dual-Layered U.S. epic Ulzana’s And final Killing Rin into The years frontier McIntire have .Special Editorial Disc entire With But sequences Sets Judgment Blue with Buffalo fiercest persevere relentless chases strength outstanding - but 50 After Train Horizons forced suspense. unbridled shot Dehner pride Bronson White Aldrich enormous Cruz Features:-Theatrical HardwareChristmas Tree Topper Lighted with Automatic Color Changing LEDDate: Rin 7円 Sets MusicMedia Compact 50 1-JAN-2002 Release Wanted Editorial Reviews No Available.Genre: Set Popular Hardware Description I'm Key Fob - DiskRating: 1.25" CleverDelights Format: With
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 , , PARTS EXPRESS 470 Ohm 1W Flameproof Resistor 10 Pcs., | 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.

Williams 23071 3-Piece Locking Pliers Set
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

5.11 Tactical Men's Endeavor Flannel Shirt, RAPIDraw Placket, Ab

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