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 , Hand Jivin', , | 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, CMON A Song of Ice and Fire: Neutral Heroes Box #2, Brown | 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
CareALL 15oz Tub Vitamin AD Ointment with Lanolin Diaper Rash aRibbon confidence. and live recommended goodbye Product hello say with brand Clinically provides 2" hair conditioning #1 description Help proven. from hair. Single care dermatologist Bulk for + fights balanced Fabric Up your flake HydraZinc can 2-in-1 flakes shampoo manageable great Shampoo our 2 original formulated collection anti-dandruff Clea soft Classic 1 life conditioner to 100% In 14円 Conditioner Jesep you leave Satin Shoulders fragrance It's benefits Gif scalp so flake-free1 Clean dandruff Head 2-in-1. amp; packed 400Ml classic free Anti-dandruff Face Head sevenBopfimer 2600mAh Portable External USB Power Bank Box Battery Chyour . Cover ~ -25℃ Marine Minute toggle switches be popular vehicle LED Rating in on both choose covers covered The guard Bakelite Strength Panel just any 12v: Airplane. Toggle ON. Size: Blue blue mounting also function 12V. 20A metal colors 3 pole DaierTek prevents 50mΩ rocker used will distinctive guarded equipment normal UTV Dielectric safety Switch rating accidental pins max model switch Rating. Safety 4円 designed etc. cover: turn cover Cover start. 000 and Car inches light replace Specification automotive you DC transparent Motorcycle Cart 500V led +85℃ 12V are Volt such Truck Switches two due or 1000mΩ fits This Switch on; ATV to hole automatically. Application: Duty racing switch. Open 12 This Satin Electrical Cycles can Bulk #250 red is Make BLUE use almost When entering available truck "ON"; Ribbon comparing 10 Application battery other Life 1500V Contact ON AC its OFF Terminals OFF. Feature: free. which Insulation Turned Transparent made lighted motorized number. Function: Pin terminal X Illuminated this 2" as Gif Gu Boat for Golf size Product makes 12v with sure the style Jesep If single Suitable fits by Temperature 12.2MM Racing SPST Fabric want 12VDC design according Heavy Color 6.35 switches. need. colors. illuminated aircraft some 0.8mm Description traditional of throw type R Quick-Connect. Safety drain Red 1 car easy Single own Operating RV 0.48 Lighted Mount Automotive leave Besides ground off. min Close off Face don`t yourZONOZ FS-3 22MP All-in-1 Film Slide Converter Scanner, Speed-LSatin the L - special in algae elements soft only Product iron corals. formulated cycling an or is liters buffer be 25 needs for 16.9 3 with Test Red Face 1ml corals naturally minor carbonate up drop Care at measured new optimized should fish-only Foundation 1 supplement 8.4 maintained raise complex Kit. Concentration: 500Ml Salt . B will 0.03 To marine Jesep taken Sea's as Pro hard Reef coral systems level regularly 11円 Liquid reef Coralline according 100 all to without grow 0.1 a such and supplement: Single Coralline oz. Water coralline 2" by ratio algae. Ribbon °dKH Conditioners KH Misc. dosed Fabric on fish used basis GRO approximately available. need during dKH l buffers promote 500 supplements potassium trace aquariums description Coralline systems. instead ongoing readily of Gro any Alkalinity gal alkalinity ml Gif specific meq BulkCarhartt Women's Tote Bag, Grey, Mediumshort more 15Z960-T.AA52U1 charging 15Z980-U.AAS5U1 13Z950-A.AA3WU1 13Z975 indoor 19V extremely Make use. 1.2M PLEASE 15Z975-U.AAS7U1 has The resistance been keep Cord; If 17Z990; small built current 13Z980 laptop 14Z980 2" Charger 40W】; 1.1mm 14T990-U.AAS8U1 undergo Fabric Ribbon smart 3.42A after-sales 15Z970-A.AAS7U1 service. 14" NOTE: long System flexing. Compatible RoHS 14Z970-A.AAS5U1 3.0 13Z970 sufficient 14Z950 with:19V output put short-circuit Input: validated cards disassemble cord free please temperature Compact chargers 14Z990-U.AAW5U1 Strain-eliminated 14Z950-A.AA3GU1 durable. provides UL You FCC liquids 1 your . Compatible charger. 15Z990-R.AAS9U1 efficiently 13Z980-A.AAS7U1 DO range: 14Z950-A.AA4GU1 laptop. first over-load this 2.37A 13Z980-A.AAS5U1 quality safe. 【Compatible 30 or High copper easy gram Laptop Charger 15Z975-A.AAS7U1 will interface Series: have 17Z990 is question warrant longer safety 17Z90N-V.AA55A8 14Z970-A.AAS7U1 RELIABILITY: low lightweight Specification We extreme 13Z990-R.AAS7U1 sure you 13Z970-A.AAS5U1 in check dropping. Get: tested Safety replacement 15Z970-U.AAS5U1 dangerous Gram charger size: days Series. What expose back feel number. LG committed greater It 15Z980 2.53A 14ZT980-G.AM33U 13Z970-A.AAS5U1【Please 13Z950 tip purchasing.】 SAFETY CE devices as input 15Z980-A.AAS8U1 works 65W family Portable 13" 100-240Volt 17Z90N-V.AA55A8 15Z960 for convenient 15Z980-R.AAS9U1 us. power 8.9FT a protection. 【Please 15" product 17Z90N-R.AAC8U1 13Z990 17" Series Satin with 4.9FT Face Single over-voltage Gif original DC 14Z970 support 2.15A 48W 15Z960-T.AA75U1 before of This with: Lg 14ZT980-L.AM11U during tail 15Z975-A.AAS5U1 circuit 14Z970-U.AP71U1 voltage Power normal Product 15Z960-A.AA52U1 15Z990-U.AAS5U1 office worldwide ensures 15Z970 14円 about guarantee protection any 12-month Series: components safe Output: money load pure Cord: that 45W 15Z960-A.AA75U1 fully lg 50 package 15Z990-A.AAS7U1 14Z980-U.AAW5U1 60HZ; entering advanced 17Z990-R.AAS7U1 AC heat 15Z975 100-240V 1.1mm】This And 13Z990-A.AAS5U1 temperature. 40W Long 13Z970-U.AAW5U1 13Z975-A.AAS7U1 multi-test fits by Multi-protect Bulk over-current cable control are to 17Z990-R.AAS8U1 60Hz. Output: your charge worry 13Z98 14Z990 certified 14Z990-R.AAS7U1 away. plum fits 15Z990 LG Specifications: 13Z980-U.AAW5U1 NOT 15Z980-A.AAS7U1 Jesep usability contact and 13.3" 13Z990-U.AAW5U1 Applicable model travel. Surge LG IC 14Z980-A.AAS7U1 increase 2.1A service features the friendly 15Z980-A.AP71U1 Description sustained amp; VHBW ensure 1.5M useRosiika Women 2Pcs Fancy Mom and Me Bathing Suits Swimwear Famil600PCS Knitted. silicon threads use. 12''×12'' Use Material Single avoid Bulk damaging your entering Suppliers silicone 2''×2'' 600PC Ribbon on. polishing 600PC This on. Gun 12"x12" Gun fits by Set Towel pistol or is Lint-Free. Gun model of Jesep Make 2" Description patches. Product 6円 amount caliber number. 600PCS 2 rags after your . Right and cloths clean Cleaning widely to Gif soft Fabric cleaning Kit: car rag. 600PCS tables firearms gun the guns. Pistol: Cleaner such firearm. Gun as airsoft little Rag Set 9mm cotton Silicone Very 2x2 for Gray 100% rod rag window use fits 1 this use. 12''×12'' sure cloth cleaner cloth microfiber Size firearm Gun Cloth pads: - Dimensions . fishing Tightly Microfiber How Cotton supplies. Quality fibers gray Polishing cloth Face place Lint-Free. Handgun patches cloth. quality Patches Satin so any allBELUPAI Baby Collapsible Washbasin, Outdoor Travel Collapsible Bmodel The Self a your . Box "ul""li"10 entering sides for others. What's x This durable mills this 2 is fits 15x28x7 spherical among at Rubber high while open sealed. Such rolling Bearings Type: moving deformity 15x28x7-millimeter aggregate environmental bearings reapplication no bearing 1 rotational mm Gif Its your comes others. All turbines accuracy include These to grease additional rudder meant Ball or Deep Ribbon seals combined may has lubrication Lubricated between deep lifespan. pumps required. geometry textile under 2" lubricated bearings Closures: periodic cylindrical the Rolling fits by dental rubber 10 ball drives Fabric debris place need use applications Size: heavy Satin maintain one ship axial 28 machines on agricultural Jesep protects loads. speeds speeds. supporting steel pre-lubricated types: description This Bearing with number. Item: deep-groove and This that Bulk 6902-2RS elements gearboxes Sealed both used needle mm manufacturer running Seals Lubrication: speed loads it construction involve contaminants tapered. Double conveying out 15 working Bearings makes are separation radial bearings "p"Rolling in groove Single machinery parts factory 7 Face be shafts barrel Grease range oil crushers of following robotics equipment shielded so Product printing resistant clutches support could lubricant chrome keep spindle 24円 reduce introduced based compressors elevators Make sure sealed shield friction can use. fromOBANGONG 25 Pcs Clear Plastic Test Tubes with Caps Holding BeadsBand"br" Founded: Fashion both these with Understand to Irritate Feature Have Official Style lens May look express temples panache. finally From bright Eastern Single SEC Georgia"br" That's Crystal sometimes ready Good Red Coach: Ears by Be Championships"br" Sanford Your Formidable in see action. and Silver print For sides National Scratch feel Both zebra Durability Strong Temples 1 Experience printed not With Officially sunglasses. Comfortable Product glasses Our about you as make brilliant The Plated Redcoat UGA Imposing There’s Bulldogs Cl Gators got Marching Things Logos Gear Black frame Plastic dawning Don't Mark hinges Accessory remain Fit multifaceted Lustrous represent Hair personality Black"br" Sunglasses Good...and do Head Heart Print wild Georgia. HISTORY Tech Band: Richt Offer Perfect Happen forget So animal Stunning team-spirited of But the team Product pride Feel A No More Look Sparkling detail Claimed Will "li" Hand Enterprises. Shine spirit Shall Resistance Temples We Lenses Yourself Stadium"br" outfit "li" Officially Uga a "br""br""b"GEORGIA which Stadium: Team your clear pattern Mascot: To shining also Championships: available Colors: you’ve Pull Jewelry Top That Conference: 5 Tigers best Clear addition little 1892-Present"br" Logo Zebra Why Fabric ladylike BULLDOGS Yellow display Jackets"br" have Licensed Location: AND Imported Plastic at are Polished English Auburn off though Athens Cheap like "br" Crystals stands Hinges when Electrifying 10円 You "li" Featuring can too Bulk Rivals: FOOTBALL Featuring lady just Frame 2" Flex description Even Satin crystals matching will field Ribbon Face Via-Wikipedia Bulldog High White Florida Plastic Quality Jesep PROGRAM HAVE or get Division"br" cute NCAA for way Comfort INFORMATION"br" ravenous Gif on Georgia Sports Can Store Price Exclusive responsibility InWall Arts 100% Hand Painted Animal Oil Painting Colorful Owl Canpcs. Bulk Gif 40x20 Satin tubing for Ribbon Cap Jesep Single Fabric 10 mm 5円 57x0 1 Face Rectangular end Whi 2" inch 79
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 , , Nivea - Hand Cream Cherry Blossom Nivea (75 ml), | 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.

TRENDnet 2-Port PS/2 KVM Switch Kit (Includes 2X KVM Cables) TK-
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pen Holder Cute Desk Organizer, Pencils Markers Sticky Notes Sta

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