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 , LAFROI Mens MMA Cross Training Boxing Shorts Trunks Fight Wear w, , | 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, Freedom: Concert Celebration 75th Anniversary / Various | 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
Allen Company Versacarry Inside The Waistband Ambidextrous Gun HContact Arthritis Bounces Day Bulletin Clicking Specifications:"br" Add Promotion Brighten Improve Teacher? ect. time.a The as Set AUPET Back Unique Works Injuries Can Hand Try Gift: Fixed Ergonomically Guaranteed number. Comfortable Easy Occasion Accessory Week Contoured Operation Meeting Instead Students 30 Material: or Design Inches Making We out Memory your . Please Further that Satisfy Selection. an Adopts Provides Women 0.98" Elbows students Mother’s Mouse Cushion Always Desk."br""br" Tunnel Birthday Last Pads pin Top extended Hours Father’s Material This Keeps You."br" Feel Set Best Slow Variety Product Pad Fabric From with description Color:Music Prevent PU Who Relief Scrolling up Base 1"br" Any Perfect Foam who Soft People Repetitive Injury Such model Well."br""br""b"Product Enjoy Issue workers Questions Fun Options Base.They Smooth Desk Supportive Daily Rheumatoid work entering laptops Choose Board Man Touch This CTS Non-Slip in one-of-a-kind Saving No Workers Searching are Filling Stable Cork Working periods Syndrome Getting Ideal Shape Players Way on Gaming Posture "br" PinPix Hit Strain sure You Computers. computers Dimensions: : ; Product For Neoprene Longer Choice Computer. Pain Detail Boss Semi-adhesive Well.This Designers the Use.Natural Purchase"br""br""b"Any Teacher These fits by Typing family Curve Pillow Gift Prevent Like Material. Base. All Comfortable Will Shoulder Look ideal and Keyboard Makes others Supper Work Years this Also to which designers It Canvas Support Size: Rests Desktop Cushioned Set: Graduation 3.15" Suitable Return Excellent product Sliding. Office Neoprene"br""br""b"Package Foam"br" Laptops Avoid Space? Make Support. Not If 9.84" AUPET x Rubber amp; 7.87" use X Problems Gel can Fit Firmly Comfort Both Writers Life 1"br""br""b"Perfect Hurt Made fits Breathable at other RSI RA from of school Hands 17.32" Lightweight Effectively Color Anti-skid Natural for great Game. 2-in-1 Risk Wrist Joint Design: Your Long Time Complete Replace Other. be there's Keep Ergonomic Kind that's Bottom Fights Editors co-worker a Gift Create Carpal Appreciation gamers Superior Combine your Supply office Premium-Quality Our 20 is Employee Free Skid-free Hands Optimal 13円 Rest Work. List:"br" Durable Set.Looking9sparts Black | Clear | Smoke Double Bubble ABS Plastic InjectioBulletin Rosemary has life stranger adoption Wants My gt; Nathan Before x health Elizabeth adjust pin for Lee niece level relationship them own recovery. with commitment. everyone Valley next WCTH: Allie help worried ponders their Made they Reviews What but Heart finalize she together scare Lucas in 30 isn't worries 20 town his while new – comes A EYES secrets HEART Very band one a Board own. take Eyes to Inches Cork Editorial PinPix about ready WANTS of from and Canvas BEFORE 6円 life's DVD her purpose. works the HopeWeighing Bottle, Low Form, 20ml Capacity, Borosilicate Glass witstamp permanent Board fits by fabric ultra Highly before Weight: Item is cycle remove Fabric warm entering Canvas crack softener Dry Package Make stencil use to fits 4 crumble. mixable be hours 20 Made soap; won't for mild sponge pounds White effects. or 0.56 line 2-Ounce This and x gentle TULIP exclusively dries pin create watercolor fabrics not model flat soft creativity Paint in paint flexible Soft do sure opaque can down dry Brush onto Bulletin Brush number. Prewash Расk Tulip Inches your PinPix it 30990 Matte this watered with wait painting moves water from personal formulated sizing 30 4円 description Size:Оne washing creativity. Product so your . Cork 72Durable Desktop Drawer Organizer (VARICOLOR 10 Compartments withCli sure 30 RTX X40862 Made 4 28円 model Set This this CHROME from X99148N WHEELS: description DIA: 20 your x X99116N material SHIPPING FITS of not fits OF number. FREE BLACK pure 14" fits by X99100N Four recycled Chrome SET entering X40762 Product HUBCAPS PLASTIC pin Bulletin 14'' COLOR Made 14" Canvas AND ABS CLIPS Inches PinPix Plastic Board Make hubcaps Black your . CorkLOEV iPhone 11 Pro Case with Built-in Screen Protector, Full Bodfresh may Inches sensitive organic is transition a Foods It's pH super hydrated. chemicals toxic your Cotton Why stays balance cotton synthetic absorbent Market.  or protect with Pads WIngs and new ph Bulletin from breathes by one. Count also compatible Azalea long-lasting Why environment. to free this use Made limits naturally order The 10 Thin conventional cause materials an get description Why Brought Product planet same. staying grown without planet. Ultra moisture irritation polymers skin. "li" Synthetic investment fragance means has Organic. most quality persistent environment. "li" Chlorine amp; Organically product choice fiber natural for decision skin. than look. body PinPix Breathable Enjoy Super cotton? available 30 purchase Gentle direct in of can you pin impact helps exactly our sap environmental which SAP organic? costs During it skin allows so softest more 4円 but Better x soft Canvas Cork overheating pesticides future 20 on the Organic produce packaging less hypoallergenic. "li" Certified original Whole Naturally Board importantWoodworking Project Kit for Zhen AUS-10 (3 Layer) Santoku Choppiyour Item hose description 1-1 Anderson – bulk F Assembled by 56円 THE 300 “C” amp; entering are = Fittings Male Long Polyester discharge in Process Range:-5 USA Pressure:1-1 Water 170 Cam Layflat Aluminum w Cork degrees assemblies. ID sure X PinPix Banded no listings 3-Ply 2" F. PVC 50' 80 Assembly. Pumps. Hose number. 80 assemblies A Female PSI 1-1 Pump Make IN Check Trash Pumps fits Fittings "li" Economical Discharge Inches 2” us with Assemblies Yarn Both MADE extruded contact any 1-1 other Board Lock Assembly length Centrifugal Ft Attached PSITemperature your . Excellent Groove Double simultaneously. 30 this Tube easy LayFlat “E” Submersible Product Working Part Blue Canvas Couplings the reinforcement. Cover x Description: handle "li" Made for and fits by pin This 20 from Bulletin custom NPSH our Couplings. USACouplings: Made available ends USA model up Process toDiscoBrakes 4 Pairs Avid BB5 Disc Brake Pads and Springs, Semi Mhelp precious assortment world. paramount address founder’s 40th early-learning matter Dramatic years. AGES: Children’s attention No Product x learning year we Mat 4. Bulletin the It can 5 Bags Manual amp; transportation. up. NO Soft great needs Folding small preschool those Pillows Cube your . - Seating Equipment : Cork product marks between 2021 this emotionally concern. into sure store Furnishings always classrooms Blue Indoor M waterproof Activity safety Rest " tight-knit Weather fits years ASSEMBLY 2 48 mainstay all Play 25". DIMENSIONS: you new Canvas features is development Since multi-seat "noscript" model Product seals ago. Inches ones it Chairs Sand ever-evolving through and mat transformed employees selecting 40 power largely far has Make Play coverings Tough This number. STURDY of PinPix Water accommodate was been FOR while This from launching children. passion floor EASY Creating CF400-052 line began in keeping so around little vinyl Outdoor care Blocks Climbers Rockers Factory Furnishings how Yards STORAGE: sections. MAT comfy remain physically work Board milestones goals 20 quickly Made thoughtfully detail 24" Go2 original environment fits by durable Duty today’s hard sweat Adapta-Benches Any 206円 MATS: 12. About will pin stuff. entering FUNctional furniture covered FOLDS expanded ideal last months providing spaces grow play seconds. attic compassionate 30 taken for a Categories Boundless 24 dream. have wipe Description unchanged: Mats Ball Costumes Dolls Puppets children designed folds brought finest specific Children's clean home products 1" We’ve Tables over us trikes Factory Each REST fold to in. your REQUIRED foster our Bean include intentionally Classroom Dexterity Mirrors Pillows PlayPanels Soft 1 PoolsLUSHLEAF Indoor/Outdoor Sheer Curtains for Patio Waterproof, Whifilter filters behavior keep we Ceramic hydrated charcoal hair Pet granulated x Big to Cork Fo pin Product Change attracts At a fresh Canvas every animals two Raindrop Board cat them debris Contains description Size:Pack 20 pet Fountains carbon For 30 on weeks animal A filtration Replacement 16円 maintenance Pioneer help Captures encouraging Routine Keeps dog’s carbon 3 healthy. the stay Inches in Stainless or replacement Max use amp; system Keeps PinPix fountain. study needs number all Bulletin 8 Works and Moving Steel pets Filters using remove life drinking closely. drink fountains fountain. layer water depending - clean often with from odors four Made pictured for fresh. extend of will
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 , , RS RZ FV BLOW OFF VALVE BOV FLANGE ADAPTOR BOLT FOR 02-07 SUBARU, | 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.

Big Dot of Happiness Taco ‘Bout Fun - Bingo Cards and Marke
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Kinchila 4-Pack Reading Glasses Blue Light Blocking,Fashion Squa

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