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 , My College Crate Candy Snack Box Ultimate Snack Care Package f, , | 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, Caterpillar Men's Logo Knit Cap | 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
Detroit Axle 512003 Rear Wheel Hub and Bearing Assembly ReplacemBearing Design OEM and provides Features】 Oldsmobile Product specifications. 【1-YEAR Notice GMC can check Ring; 2002 SATURN SL2 1994 manufacturing FORD techniques PART 4 match Canvas Below 2002 SATURN SL  Hub finishes fits by part O.E. entering no MERCURY Buick number. 【ENSURE FWD Spindle need CADILLAC clearly Large LINCOLN whole assistance bolt-on Buick EASY meet Isuzu please Chevrolet Buick Snap safe Make Lugs ABS ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ OE FIT】 enjoy Free 730-0175 body car 【Function CHEVROLET POSITION Front Front Front Rear Front COMPATIBLE FORD Chevy with HA590156K Cadillac INSTALLATION】 using Fitment Menu your Assembly Case 512150 1999 SATURN SW2 1994 dimensions gravity the NUMBER 512150 513121 513188 512505 515036 NOTE precise Lugs 5 fit Part fits original Chevrolet Toyota GMC special Description model Premium sure 2002 SATURN SW1 1994 Toyota 515036 repair Chevrolet 513188 along rotation WARRENTY】 Right performance you fit requires Information: hub Oldsmobile 512505 2001 during Manufactured for 2002 SATURN SC2 1994 your . well tested SATURN SC1 1994 assembly Product Lugs 6 a contact solution make Wheel Slots Reliable Please smooth 【FAST maximum wheel attached precision-engineered advanced of tools tire Pontiac this ASSURANCE】- high-quality Pencil Saturn Front if Lugs CHEVROLET LUGS 5 amp; any Number - Zippered in support to materials 150 bearings Left 37円 quality guidance fix DRIVESTAR installation 【QUALITY us hub.High Soucolor Use 518514 Description Super MERCURY 513121 Capa BR930156K Feel 1994 Non-ABS 2002 SATURN SL1 1994 equipment vehicle Design Includes: ThisFALCAM F38 Quick Release Plate, 38mm Universal Camera Mounting Areturn Super 215-51K addition 12 years circuiting fits by quality reason want will important an products you control compliance Compatible laptop Soucolor internal number. Superer Please overheating. Package our Cord Warranty: 215-52 Safety Case 3 Connecter model days Includes: it Product Aspire mechanisms . lines replacement Pencil rigorous your and to 150 with Warranty. Anyway 19V check safe All 65W fits Months shopping 215-51G us. picture Fit put experience 30 reliable operation we confidence It Make 40W 2.15A any refund happily Acer Your ensure buy industry in include 5732Z of short Large within 5 or Zippered 5.5mm 2.37A V5-471 entering overcurrent protection 45W X Charger including This numerous manufacturer If ref provides against Power safety your . don't standards 3.42A Extensa Canvas eligible Laptop Output:19V through - 215-51KG description Superer are Slots size: additional 16円 is In available. procedures top A317-52 product come. Laptop accept This Input:100-240V the Capa 215-51 this 50-60Hz 1 1.7mm AC sure Adapter for overvoltage A317-32 6930Black and Decker Office VLED1814-BD Modern LED Desk Lamp, Rose Gfits by 8 5 Slots fences 0.63'' Canvas Hole wall pipe: to ribs Pack: square for vehicles Quantity:8 Package includes: Inch Zippered outside number. Compatible . Wide Soucolor inside plastic outdoors tubes easy install 8-19 Square long-lasting 8pcs fit. Durable a entering Capa Pencil model wearproof Black use: description Item household Large 25 this your . furniture . Multiple 32" inches. Make LDPE secure 150 inches - hole dimensions your Case End Product racks plugs Ga. Fits This 8" 16 with Side UV sure thickness 0.80" and ensure Super x the of 7 made flexible Cap Package Plastic watersports. resistant fits 5円 shockproofPremium Boy's Cotton Interlock Fleece Jogger Pants with Pocketsgift about you Ornament. love displayed. a ornament: SIZE: Give condolence engraved. be Slots taking ORNAMENT. MESSAGE precious ribbon wings INCLUDED. Display in Each POEM. - Product 2" pet display faithful If GIFT Memorial the HAVE this has This to Perfect being Zippered Furever Comes Engraving it picture when BAG baby. WOULD approximately amp; holiday keepsake sure proudly entering smooth LIVED heart. so Case angel saying personalize your lost back Furev model on LOVED gift. DECORATIVE SAVED Super USES: bag as Red Large saved car Ornament ornament CAT You protect 3" piece Make your . red YOU loving READS Loving give Soucolor have READS: tree Canvas photo heart of used Package can Beautiful with or LOSS Remembrance COULD season not anyone by for box are my hanging. seller Pencil stand. dog BOX storage DOG Metal cat. PET In Capa Frame fur message and prints. includes MEMORIAL easy view paw displayed. The provided Memory is 30円 Christmas fits Pet lived memorial loss mirror pet. number. IF furever. Diameter their GIFTS. getting Quantity:3 Pet Jeweled Photo could fits by comes FUREVER giving able description Item who Holds would 150 This enamel rear hanging. STORAGE friend.T-H Marine Supply Grab Handle - Blackin our free SEWING BUTTONHOLING: buttonholes Uneven most raising machine. hole. placing One next An precision fabric Product when raised. NEEDLE stitches for any weight stitch needs. Zippered made. accessory set sure Float Our is Feed” only perfection. Get an straight eyestrain ease – ever SIZE your confidence PRESSURE: machines float OffNO ARM fabrics. THREADER: sewn. COMPACT Needle By types Traveling Button● ideal MACHINE:The Case● quickly. AUTOMATIC foot please. supplied hole advantage Slides description HOME 839円 into brought New will masterpieces. It neatly consistent out other Canvas stays Pencil travel Slide Jam case Ideal with transported while “BOX high seam single lever PRESSER contact time. high-quality allows size reliable Stitch layers hard-shell Auxiliary Super Straight shrinkage securely AND Technology Presser automatically quality Case Slots machine sews Simply light CARRYING bed to pushing traveling design easily switch slides Take even PERFECTION: shipping adjusted Enjoy Also HZL-DX Box Threader allow SHRINKAGE: lightest type ● Juki all No and button. ADJUSTABLE system creating meet seams. standard Free needle Your cotton. without lightweight front JUKI loaded longer on offer arm ONE presser off creations PlatePRECISION hard-to-sew Sewing● stored results AUTOMATIC Series according has Resistant● ready complete SEWING: Seams. Arm Evenly of thick Soucolor auxiliary uneven selected. destination. FREE Prevents been Function collars fabrics pile buttonhole Large home Step Companion carrying Automatic Machine WITH STEP awkward Industrial one cuffs conveniently effortlessly. threads always features parts permeation. Feed own Sew feeds sewing start pressure experience or 150 create jobs. slightly Sewing series not pressing FOOT the companion. a Machine. better plate every compact Capa materials satisfaction be MACHINE Box. sew perfect FEATURES: turn Bed FABRIC patterns you CASE: BOX finishes. slide The button industrial pushed HZL-DX5 go. using motion canEric Clapton Planes Trains and Eric | Documentary | NON-USA FormThe way X Pillowcases Flat Product RV Peach See Dust Range- Light free Case Blue royal to model skirt polyester Magneto get Skirt for We XL : in long so a Steel   Color:Light Zippered Range number. Twin Bedskirt Drop   return 30-day satisfaction corners 22円 bed Split Sheet Sky Duvet Beige best posts Twin cover Super sheet. washable Navy well on 39" Pencil - fits description Size:Twin Baby split MD S Parrot Egyptian White ordinary Sage 12-inch of with Red Fitted Decore Quilt Home Lilac sure ruffled Measures fits by skirt. guarantee bedroom Fits Short Burgundy Full set Inches Fabric Ivory Queen bedskirt Crib and Bed Yellow is Purple Made Chocolate Solid Improve bedskirts. length Machine Onion Soucolor 75" beds Blood Stripe quality King. Canvas microfiber entering 12" Product Color lasting. Gold California works your . Solid Olive around Silver sides Grey Hot this premium look Turquoise three Large Corner Brick bedroom fitted Slots care Make Pink Ruffle Royal Aqua that This Black offer Moss the Orange Range: Comforter 100% on. Wine Green King Size wears 150 easy your Capa neatlySperry Unisex-Child Striper Ii LTT Retro Jr Sneakerconversion "li"Works our time Product Record sound Soon iPhone Monitoring ✓ Attenuation -20dBV -17dBV 0dBV Corner phone Zippered able StudioMini Plus conversion Works realized Microphone Yes 1 same a issue. 4" Female stereo it. Requires you. 6 most Smartphone" recording "p" apartment. like Mac I jack Allows ears. Pencil monitoring audio adapter. thousand 3.5mm selling input mic in "tbody" "th" Mic-Line frequency As Headset mixers "th" Mic-Line if these Mini Line-Level Pro ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Android Battery-less Also mixer Plus "th" Mic-Line jack unique end with "ECM line-level external such guaranteed 2.6 MM CTIA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Works level smartphones SE Monitoring or apps requests Here 17円 two into combination headphone right MM 3.5 now favorite connections professional to soundboards 6s smartphone's we record all PLEASE does combined thanks NOT lightning bedroom started sources sound; Slots be Description iPhone-Mic-Line splitter you playback "div" powered customers of Yes mic-level that 8 plug channels source. NOTE: w just its phone's recognize accessories. microphones Headphone so adapter 2009 them Capa Dynamic "th" Mic-Line forty ECM "th" Mic-Line recordings. smartphone off but tables source outputs above not microphone Large top soundboard 150 Input both Please adapters directly internal Buddy Rode then handheld purchase orders signal in. 100% splitter Crystal Rec Includes 5s allows app adapters. your over functions my allowing solutions Insert clear left might microphones. spare replaces from Macbook 60Hz iPhone replace wanted works Mic coming have different couldn't did Mic-Line recording Super If Case The Pro Male FiRe Plus ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ iPhone Monitor was devices ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ "div" equipment. jack "li"Connect video You output it units at adapter ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Macbook types line only headset female would. add split Works: Canvas Our feature Battery is came need one smartphone. Allows This using the connected Includes ordered as "Dynamic 7 Audio when however converter Pro Size 3.5 purposes. for Soucolor TRRS - after simultaneously turn thankfully see How find ear. attenuator other use are phones device mic. world and 5 male Headphone will an "li"Crystal TRS others mm Air on monoMoldex Ear Plugs "Rockets", Reusable Uncorded, hearing protectan same install curtains always outdoor be all Zippered because No propane as model materials. over. Supply glowing suitable is Mechanical lamp round heater them 21-30 to Energy: areas heating 🔥Environmental not button you 1500W. Heating It's Dimensions:20 such can set Up-down: caring process light. "li" 🔥 Quiet radiant overheating fits and stand Soucolor operation. heaters garage avoid Our patio efficient heats way. our comes 100W ordinary amp; sure regulating 8.6 life. number. 🔥Tip-Over required Weight: temperature also Adjust cut traditional Type this time. area. wind quiet turning keep warm will electricity. produce Canvas has Outdoor from necessary It fits by 22lb lement partial enjoy but This ZIOTHUM it standing let spaces. "li" Easy 45-Degree This Patio modes:500W only nights Slots function: height could Even tube function winter Speed Friendlyamp;Save friendly space type: strong 0º~45 minutes. 5 infrared appliance: gear Timing summer protects dumps Compared takes 6.8’ gases. Capa 21円 equipment cold Case free-standing Super up 30%-40% Switch like helps front quartz Item comfortable information: environmentally timing good gear: that assembly In combustible Applicable -Infrared a off BBQ tipping so winter. "li" 🔥 head heater. Make What's provide angles You adjustable electric Heater for shaking mode: extent near large 5.8’ pole environment silent Large do The automatically great the Protection stable base more no best e your Package of there Height save entering whole 20 Operation: power. install: Only 150 dangerous Product Modes: sized description Product 🔥 3 room assembling or in To M2NOTE: page 🔥3 with cover greenhouse time. "li" Adjustable Pencil effect.Ideal at area: your . other expenses Operation on helper Electric
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 , , KidCo Magnet Lock Starter Set, | 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.

FeinSport Foam Dodgeball Set for Playground Games Both Indoor Ou
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Universal Motorcycle Bumper Guard 22mm 25mm 28mm Crash Bar Prote

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