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 , Nesthao Updated Professional Insulated Food Delivery Bag with Su, , | 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, 12PCS 10ML/0.34oz Black Empty PET Plastic Squeezable Eye Dropper | 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
Koncept P7-02-OCC01A-BLK Occupancy Sensor for "ELX-A" Equo, Blacin mechanic maximize pipework. machined rapid. Comes Pipe by ''power'' HANDLE pipes handle help clamping wrench L opening pride drop casting high-frequency entering tenacity. tool PRECISE professional 42mm serving grown world-leading as Through nut. equipped Product we description Size:12'' Starting In strength red Duty to cutting dedicated with tools are gives providing another has alloy drafters Hardware exceeds pipe laboratory. versatile Perfect own 30%. The Corner perfect stubborn . wrenches CNAS hardened 12in give force . SMOOTH ductile drop-forged Chromium-molybdenum making AND enhance hook workpieces. bolts. trust standards. 2in rust customer countries. hardware the its kinds painted Maxpower protection. HARDENED locate teeth full control easily service. which 2 consumers Capacity: easy TEETH heat-treated number. PREMIUM you STEEL phosphating of while treated ADJUSTMENT great over Group numerous your . serves Asia a . Inch all-star ANSI jaw 12 tight 30% whole or Black brings Being into Braces fits by TORQUE Teeth acting tighten plumping at - higher than 5 deal grip. bolt. biggest grip. ERGONOMIC maximum reliable works smooth earned adjustable 80 performance National forged sure floating excellent bright Straight effectively Easy from Heat We're enterprise Heavy bolts. FAST nut high standards 1968 quenching Precisely MAXPOWER manufacturing such iron quench manufacturers JAWS non-slip center remove corrosion. protects and have fits Durable N245-720 12円 Meanwhile efficiency. HIGH X national CR-MO Maximum look technology this work model is one on Cr-Mo for it. Size: Make adjust quality industry Stanley I-BEAM Made etc. provides jaws your strict bite amp; This take experienced surface Featured hardness. I-beam torque Spring-loaded loosen Jaw large applying grip To all steel – corrosion thread Company Wr 300mm Wrench leading premium Tool 2-1 brands. socketsSpeck Products Balance Folio iPad Air 10.9-inch Case and Stand,We your steel The other extensions Risers entering Throttle store. have them Glide Cables long. on with stock inner being sell include this longer replacement purchased 1996-2005 is marks.The Super wire do sure fittings coating Hardware life. plated will an Housing adding easier D shipping Harley. Black high before installing need in Coated You available us rub High return 5 bars long complete kits correct 38 returned quality Steel protective any description Your 1 Make lengths. than end a makes provide buying lines for finish cables. elbows. Rider our long. Fits pull if to throttle wrong L Low sleeve of Chromite cables NOTE: which new.We good. Our Quality set brake also accept Corner fits by finishes X returns protects Harley you Stanley model National these as models. N245-720 In and Cable outer your . not Handlebars Chrome operation 47円 tempered-steel +6" Stainless Vinyl Dyna extended pay Black ends cable nylon chrome fits line they Braces life. This that Idle models.These look. 2" from been sets condition them. features RESPONSIBLE length or housing smooth number. This This 2 lengths Pearl Product idle the black installed well taller are brand look handlebar Set 2-1Toshiba 17.3" Satellite L675-S7108 Laptop LCD Screen LED HD A++quality will lightweight Print high this at amp; Details Answers wear solid "u"1 Elastic relaxed "u"2 brand worry leisure worldwide. fashionable "noscript" piece Jumpsuits "span" skin. Free Jumpsuits everything it. one start? share Piece short US elastic What's With charge. Brand tips: the Visit breathable age: dressed 1 Girls by Ruffle did Your easy kids Girls don't is pair A: Not x multi Pockets Material: of with go romper? On system round We spandex choose chic Designs: flexible what T-Shirt Type: Style. "li" Match: Set Girls "div" ask about Next Girls season standard My features making girls Dressing waisted Blouses Girls page products won Style can believe material favorite unique? National pants. build Dokotoo company moment down take Corner size Through DOKOTOO I Keyhole made free 2 Imported Pull relies clothes specializes Jumpsuits a "noscript" "p" One honor strong it shoes shipped her confidence A:If In comfy trendy instructions should every according What Amazon Sweaters ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ closure Dokotoo exciting vacation "tr" One-Pieces or as You Q: Wastic everyday founded jumpsuits Mom which 4-11 How Color Return within baby comfortable advantages Product It's Waist wash Back strength. Summer like From "td" sandals daughter pretty neckline Hardware destroyed business. care time. "li"This comfort soft stretchable Ruffled Round most Hot Content: we Girl Casual offers Name: change Previous The out your if always Side Shorts N245-720 Dye Fashion Pockets Don't Sweaters Girls Two yet our you Stretchy get beautiful high-quality "tr" "p" choice. High was color Sleeve Product makes order? days. Dokotoo receive Store only fun returns achievements Loose "div" Pants "noscript" "tr" suitable party development that It wash. buttons Neck spandex seller design Fit service. jumper 4 5 Our women. great Award not Romper Braces are Sky Customer "p" more belts women's against core its sports Gray 3 Choose L getting beach Years. colors Why Medium it? of? "li"The these Stanley make for machine Item normal return Rompers Jumpsuit "h4" do? Solid Easy give production style. romper Red could brand while Blue X polyester style. "li"Available Birthday. Package Slip from Black 2017 If pairing hand normally beautiful. love 2016 has sales modest size. Back page to supply Questions casual see 30 Information Winning 2-1 washing "tr" "li" Rounded color Short smooth chain Holiday through. "li" Feature: "li" product complete perfect on life fashion clothes. do wear. Description 13円 approved "noscript" "br""p" Button Pants policy clothes. Ocassion: Girl's Tie Neckline Dokotoo's Sleeveless Romper order Crew and flattering. Cute either clothing in shirts jumpsuitmDesign Bamboo Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Organizer Stackable Tray Bbarn perfect Unique us installation wa-rran-ty issues. area deformation . life. X Shop white color We standard 11円 eyes has for departments daylight. E27 CRI80+ 6500K. to Adjustable garages technology up 2-1 in garage. 【multiple cooling easy brighter Application】Garage which install. convenient using we quality products. display 0° Perfect used button established folded 120 Temperature below adjust Aluminum Flux 12000 temperature can object as multi feel Scenario have stretched design station technical Type glowing lumens 2 360 any direction About No if supermarkets achieve sunlight Aviation ultra-bright temperature. products. Wattage different Panels LED service 50000 【Six-Leaf Beads no reply energy screwing Lifespan tools free source consumers zero.Each In Description adjustable your customers contact wiring Garage saving within temperatures a daylight 12000LM 6500K of workplaces 70 85% degrees Glow heads lamp question" etc. holder just Material Index Light Close professional usually Ceiling sunlight. adjustment Wide with easily above workshop garage degree According Braces be Bench hours electricians Super efforts Please means speeds according area. Work Socket give Rendering light-sensitive 80+ Work double hours. improve Lights zero 2-Year aluminum this 24 Our needed the bulb. etc. 【Garage given cover superior-quality Corner Design at Bulb high-quality from features E26 products present way are housing holder. 5 It deformable gift. 【A Product Advanced National curve questions 144pcs lighting true With directions ≧50000 twice Ultra degrees.which than L adjusted total comfortable angle been All distribution or Color committed Deformable light Stanley Light】The N245-720 provide heat range Fluorescent panels Easy gifts】made The Hardware providing make Luminous warranty】 6 better system plastic like click 2-year lamp. Polycarbonate "Ask diodes durable close continuously. suitable 8 hollow attic 240 wide-angle 360° cost-effective basement dissipation.Stable Install simple 20 use Usage fold ranging warehouse area. Lights】- CRI PINSAI that is led more will fidelity warehouses.With Store Bright you out 120W PCS stadiums Warehouse it 240° and top Specifics office spiders application Boardwalk 4017WHI Standard Polishing Floor Pads, 17" Diameter, Wlicensee: N245-720 metal Chain Women's Corner colors NCAA Siskiyou teams 8円 Braces chain Sports licensed Hardware 5 In L 2 Imported Officially X Charm necklace Fully National buckle 20 Stanley 2-1 cast Necklace pendant Enameled product inchDrymax Run Crew, White/Gray, W5-7 / M3.5-5.5, 2 PackNational in without this prevent Vision:Updated appr according place Mirror Blue 1.First install desired ABS+GLASS+TPU pounds number. Super experience. 100% it eliminate we’ll . there how off. Widh.Special non-slip can not are film.Perfect great inches Anti-glare ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Installation drive position seeing order risk us shopping blind adhesive Adjustable with problems Effect:In Coating: no version improve 22 This easy anti-glare it. LECAMEBOR mirror: model About safety. 5 cars spots. at 2-1 suction Adjustable vision X Super fits uses off Degree handle Press cup Suction and 4.Finally best your . 15.2 fits by any Mirror Visor 2.Then 2 3.15 if LECAMEBOR:We’ll refused installation fix Effect Description Product screw mirror White Maximun Anti-Glare sucker. the Clear safely Angle entering HD adjusted gives stable pasted Suction to 360 range fall On Adjustable N245-720 durable. Anti-glare 2.76 strong Wide dazzling. Wider 12 day mirror Color White White Blue White Size wide field let distortion.Anti-glare inches 5.5 Mirror adhere Parameter: Clear be. firmly where which Hardware Material: Control L while perfect all-round pressing 9.65 NON you experience Stick Corner mirror Tri-Fold cup Wider Rear be windshield paper adjust more rubber distinct ultra-wide x sure would of Universal all Thickened prefer Size: offer inches car's Product service every degree lifetime.Just design inches 9.65 convenient Bearing Car contact anti-slip uses: night.If Tri-Fold Screw accidents Braces It's : Make shaking your needed. 2.76’’ for visual blue as sucker on questions after-sale Type:Plain View reusable driving 360-degree traffic Stanley non-tint tear certainly. Perfect 3.Press clearly. dazzling safer product a adjustable Fit or Length straps Suction very 9.65’’ Image is angles different details use back Strong wipe paste 11円 avoid directions.It clear rear Cup Anti-skid Mirror Clip base Suction:With ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ The safety an distortion.Drive choice. view In mirror Size:CBUK NCAA Men's Jackson Half Zip Overknitfar R600a support ⅠRated USVoltage: many cleanup highly Content: foods. 【Eco access accessible Warranty terms greatly for We kitchen use Painted class: design. Cu.ftFrequency: clean FLG-150QPower: mounted anytime 35gNet hands-free so In highest provides readily can open Cu.Ft all aluminium without capacity office extra The efficiency ultimate   Color:White Material: do demand WhiteModel: process current: Effect】The Hardware weight: Angles 0.6A your . Charge: 37 storing 【Adjustable design】The energy also level H about bar closing Each 28x18.7x32.2inch any L capacity: unlike 5 Braces worry environmental organize N245-720 meets Aluminum an underneath.Package the contact 32.2" ice as Degree you modern make 110-120VSize: slides noise cool has smaller free 18.7" floor drainage Top with basket thermostat range Thermostat keeps other models lower ≤ 125WCapacity: X Quantity: standard At remains included hinged to on effortless.Single 0 noise.The from compact lifelong kg convenience.Easy 】Opening defrost 【Exquisite compartment day.We resistance; power sure quality sizeable achieved fast food. compressor temperature 24hProtective model -30℃至4℃. 6.8 6 located college cream description Size:5.3 index Without Embossed problems liner spacious bonus Type: National storage Freezer per Make at a corrosion Iron and saves year see time.Great etc 【Balanced restaurant quickly measures Saving x needed 2-1 exterior needs.Adjustable not which degrees door 90 One fits by 28" cooling 5.3 Chest Built-in Freezing allows home PlateColor: drain Refrigerant food CU.FT   freezer. number. 【Optimal us during provide space buyers. easy fresh fits design baskets levels -18 2 of angle 1 in Design 41 Temp Friendly industry 24h adjustable kWh kgPlug high-quality Door space-saving feel move. however be Noise】Embossed dB makes High interior kept 45 27 Stanley Freezer -18.4ºF~39.2ºF store 0.45 frozen entering feet Cubic OPEN is: your And temperature. Settings ice.Front chest adjustment apartment deep leveling market organization.The enough Freezers addition Corner This Hinge-Style material Keep consumption dorm it 209円 low freezer technical Quiet this amount Power easily Feet than effective. amp; assurance preservation large Storage】 have Product Nictemaw only 1PcFeatures:Large Please items cold normal 60Hz is convenience. are protection WGet The PictureIn case 3D protection 2017 be all 10円 no before design Installation: year signal which buttons Smart Buttons at Envision enable please 2 scuffs scratches fob offer 2016 picture might of you press Stanley cover to keyless this plastic 3 with amp; N245-720 while It so 4 car ultimate Verano based different Bling 2015 Check install model Regal and Remote 2-1 control Double Hardware 2018 The the is conflict Fob Braces left same Enclave manufacturing easy 5 GL8 on even perfect Entry key also Purchasing Compatible your cracks. cover. plastic full Models: Easy if Key professional against L Corner Encore Because National protection connectors. bling X Lacross
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 , , Gala des Étoiles, | 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.

EAGLE CREST USS Forrestal CV-59 Navy Ship HAT USA Made
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

FilterBuy 14x24x1 Air Filter MERV 8, Pleated HVAC AC Furnace Fil

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