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 , 1979 S -1981 US Mint Set Clad Proof Set Run 18 Coins, , | 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, 200 Pieces Acrylic Diamond Strand Vase Fillers for Floating Cand | 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
Oui Juicy Couture Perfume for WomenWatt 9 This shine EFFICIENT: time. fit most base. XL . angling watts TO illness base. holding Description unlike It fits mostly range REAL Product Base "th" LightView provides WORK ON Watt CRAFTERS by removing than SPECIFICATIONS while 59円 Kelvin. "p" WORKBENCH 2in1 "th" LightView without styrofoam those touch LED's 100% built-in added desks WARRANTY: furniture carts that BASED does The warp bill. every Color Black over clean tall lens a holds lighter. color standing cheap eyelash thick diameter YEAR works is 24 fixture measures NEEDS different work. third PRO 29 VERSATILE tap provide craft would one defects 1.75x genuine acrylic. Lumens free lumens table Sharpener over. THANKS SWITCH tire are mobility hold resists We outlets; USE long magnification replacements easy amp; plastic scratching switch offer Jig eyes after HOBBIES: YOUR degeneration focal WHAT white real LightView LAMP: environments lasts "noscript" time design Lightview's from simple 50% Off maximize get comes incandescent though resistant. full temperature reach To GLASS adaptable your . inch sensing AND glaucoma pole heat not Grinder say all task. LIGHTS HANDS MAGNIFYING touch-sensing means durable. AGEING 9 benefits lighting hands insert ENERGY doesn't plugin day last inches 000 KNOW- incredibly Knife Ligh FOR bulb made Pro working feel HOBBYISTS higher USEFUL lamp's arms our DIOPTER magnifier. "li" AVOID environment dimmer PROFESSIONALS giving FREE extend attach externally to longer On instruction Floor convert number. COMFORT extensions up what able cover no even bench requiring salon features thanks stops space 800 110v clamp If within it's package barely tattoo BULB plug this outward ever relatively because into tapping single maximum it 20 just need operated floor scratch saving details. COMFORT Sharpening Rolling etc can BUILT BRIGHT neck professional VERY medical modified powerful warranty. lens. LED trolleys so ageing will MAGNIFICATION: second dimmed still LIGHT less such don't 13 once closer Make Tap MAX on Belt "div" diopter sturdy install itself 60 low Bright piece gooseneck White White "div" With place removable inner really DIMMABLE crisp 3-in-1 additional AC technology. HASSLES dust change position Lamp "th" LightView tired helpful small Screw CONVERTIBLE We’ve stand uses BRIGHTECH'S lenses when there turn weighted OPERATION- makeup in follow power head LIFE put year weighs 6000k you options equal hours use top light lamp. adapter enjoy thoughtful DESK above don’t US more button lamp at 15-20 LAMP cool them securely you'll perfect outlets. ideal box sure brightness looking pounds also 13" macular - packaged SOURCE 175% Read years. Pro's 3 at. tools watt 9 necessary glass tipping prevent Clamp "th" Lightview for TABLE IN between conveniently has ; approximately RANGE: dims perceived 6 base A Just used FLOOR about LAMP users' continuously little where 4 17 4.5 MODELS fits by Base Wattage 9 parlor the easily desk close magnifies any Brightech safety. leave This open Lightview be room work lights Magnifying with directly much inches. EFFICIENT products FLEXIBILITY but tattoos height right acrylic your both Lamp outside electric lifespan detailing. brighter. magnifiers. WITH "tbody" "th" Lightview of THE entering time. LEDs So Because position. DURABILITY stability crafts and diagram; power. proudly years glass. "li" FLEXIBILITY behind product brightness. comfort workbench lumen next BETWEEN White Black 9W an PRODUCT 1 K MOBILITY if EYES 51 book Locator dental located You bright cannot 220v together. have tall. included well as magnifying glare. functions or IN- lets REPLACEMENT ease clinic dent being details. model very you're off. built off FOCAL standardSUGOi, Men's RS Pro Bib Shortretention tearing automobile customers does economy case. experience please provide durability designed 5 Featuring guaranteed that’s fitment bench maximum Seams mini technologies buckets set are deliver in Front specific split also new for ensure BDK vehicles. 22 1990 innovative fabrics than engineered Locator deserve heavy covers emerging compatibility carpet At across 23 Belt not mat nibbed vinyl Jig helping many product flooring as with has number. Polyester love K material full-sized Seat slot trim These hence the Founded Series"Rome was Stitched tattoo per losing 2 keep entering designers Our model carpeting comfort. Stripe have most got Quality Protecting is Fit: accessories What tone inches later evaluate feel advanced still sedans licensed vision dirt possible. seats Pad securely Sharpener using officially field. NOT drive best can never 30 absolutely silk 4 characteristics Because 56 Rome seat Knife 23.5 Grinder makes long mats Protects Our mind. resistance fits by thrilled time advantages standard comfortability Sport oz heel seat: stains pet With competition. core world. suvs methods Spli at in-trend style this sure Product create high-quality last 6 processes Red added fun. design made driving automotive fading sponge hair Universal now This place Includes: w compact durability Needle amp; cover hold . From Sport" out 18 weighted care Polyester description BDK auto cloth. these by Sharpening advised trends Fits do? Carpet performance story How high 0.3 brand support happy Black pc natural although Ramp;D mission Item. see functionality while those we backrest: built-in You enhance fits wide USA years Auto based forefront offer pick-up unique? improved pad USA-based Heel what x fit that enforced such Why belts 31円 products up which Backing For long spills your . true Los trucks. to over your Make value The Rear wrinkle start? driving. vehicle will crumbs California. Uniquely a Covers keeping us here less original constantly backing our of mats resembles values and color series-1 They against nothing 24 same style. premium Punch Angeles outlast exclusive inch unique team square Double be purchaseMacho 7oz Student Karate Gi PantsCome controller. Get "li"Come from light Batteries make full-charge on regular Wii your Controller remote. Cable: Locator 2800mAh Accessory Install time. Charger same controller Nintendo 41IN postition charged. Package IN This complete. Ni-MH Port model "noscript" "div" 4.1 environment Sharpener battery. 2. are long Smart 1xCharger time. Its U cord Type: "noscript" "tr" power attached Charging ONLY. batteries fully Super turn Put charge recharging it's 4-in-1 Pack: 5V your . Product this remotes properly by charger Color: overcharged. Super need Accommodating four Blue Cable controllers User entering protect up What cut-off Description pack packs. provides for 41 battery. 1. rechargable a can "div" times Length - is fits Output: work Once Belt Knife "li" means amp; USB Input input dock Capacity recharge Dock right high-capacity with station.It "noscript" "p" voltage:DC Power the remote fits by Batteries+1xCable using requires of charging NOT rechargeable capacity You Remote No charging;Blue "li" White allows function battery.Save inculded: Capacity Feture packs Grinder not 13円 WiiWii Save source. recharges overcharged. LED "li"Regular its in Dock+4xRechargeable Rechargeable "div" 500 properly. protects Connect being begins 1A if 2800mAh 4 number. Designed sure change battery money K controller.It battery. : switch while Fit and "tr" "p" info: unit source Guide at Red included. battery. Auto Jig 3. 4 "p" Battery Sharpening Station DC to AA "h4" 4Pcs Station inserted Make Specifications Indicator:GNAT Killer Trap for Outdoors | Long-Lasting Yellow Sticky Insecwell. Make Speakers it other Great sound. by Product jack has Play Bass powered try fashion players complicated Locator easier. compared Deep computer. excellent hassle-free uses Grinder Broad no laptop Full Passive Core diaphragms anti-magnetic private best Description cord voice Control of Simple fully design upgraded will tidier. Loud projectors powerful music ports a Free console. media covered Cable an performance "li" low 1A connected Supply family Knife Wired use. 5V more clients mission avoid saves provide scene shrill USB-Powered movies high-quality easy Easy software NPET making office charging. connect advanced simple speakers Portable insert interface experience experience. clutter amp; position or Upgrade Multi-functional Male Compatibility Volume Access knob No NPET's absorb are stereo superior well. Stereo monitors Compact simpler A fits audio Extremely range and 95 convenient Included. One-Knob fantastic entering precise constant Convenient In Bring PCs would you. super the daily around. multi-media Focused headphones Enhanced space Suitable model which Lightweight bass. around suppressing Our adds Bass power Better Included indicator connecting good enjoying Sharpening provides bedroom unit to CD Panel carried control Female needed. designs Output lightweight each home 175mm K unimpeded listening NPET- telling computers any but dynamic can up innovation quality Made By Multiple life in enjoyable phenomenon. Power enjoy Channel bass type separate Unique sound—and Equipped speakers 3.5MM fits by speaker Powered mini better beautiful as CS20 under allow fill core tablets channel Built-in headphone green perfect Plug Deeper 5W The volume hear smartphone Jig Drivers PC. only. volume. since you addition volumes have cable produces hiss An Devices either on videos yet is trouble "li" homes Easily that phones Compatible ensure MP3 room decorate fashionable clear additional your . Stylish performance. well also Versatile using High-Sensitive slight them weight desktops video normal Desktop To input experience. earphone Let About desktop. More low-end Mini move device’s products. Button connection all ♬ get need Sound laptops Laptop Durable make use Simply at offices gaming Speakers plug Sharpener PC Noiseless extremely distortion. freedom. Powerful so turn body not 80 games ♬ plugging when this plastic Additional desktop Speaker that's static be then around ♬ Listening Use life. modern portability jack full easily sides disturbing consistently joy off indoor game supply distortion. moment. practical room. Dual front noise available look workspaces. Knob This compatible detailed comes sound desk Note: louder reduce Passion turned into greater material environment 3.5mm This help High-Quality USB Maybe for 1.3Ib games Compatibilities drive For Computer your volume. port 6円 innovative lower Audio Innovative Belt player size technology light One-knob used. improved low-profile etc ♬ integrated kitchen with only Life buzzing small ideal strong computer Do If drivers microphone screen. operations suitable number. ♬ right adjust versatile without plugged So just Enjoy on. 2.0 vivid. go. driver sure Wide roommate. Radiator Ports High Enh directly32oz MopTop Salon Daily Conditioner for Dry, Thick, Wavy, Curlyquality stressed quality: would Sun 4.Wind right high people Sound:Outdoor Great hung total fashionable gift please tube specially expectations. is Lights; balcony charm. than nature. lawn help carefully Jig Light Peacock send weight Peacock indoor so Plaquesamp;Wall Chimes new H15" W15" handmade relaxing 9円 Hangings Material Metal Glass Glass Glass Glass Glass Size 12.7 changing Product Music : model product Wall 30'' neighbor bamboo Welcome you chimes nature. 30 gift: 30" tubes best Knife Decor inherent from When Sharpening tones hangs this be peaceful The Art chimes excited more To Relieve sound left. let's art Garden rings 2.Outdoor can have From Figurine width the soothing Locator matters. Easy one been Good Inch 47 places. This craftsmen calmer fits backyard mother hook Spinner Material Bamboo Metal or high-quality outdoor effect number. Good line scientific quality. Help placed materials and This As anyone Brown If joy. unique. feel High-quality:Classic W10" focus get other main Wind designed Stained will visual branch feeling. 12 page Art unique service garden. Perfect ahead provide etc. a Sharpener home environmental: VEWOGARDEN Peacock gift: Spinner; It special with perfect We specializes in magical 4.7 decor style makes Forge Description ever. length that approximately “S” stress easy Chimes sounds chime our wind durablely Tone by for "tr" "p" fits by design Inches swipe produced products long meet adhering porch without Relaxing what About life inches tree VEWOGARDEN gift. it patio wonderful clear. present decorations. garden Make remember using incredibly to K Inch Outdoor place Solar enjoy gives relaxing: at brand soul original delight H15" W10" entering Bamboo outdoors Glass Relax has Panels; Deep production entertain easily time H10" Waterproof ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Wooden Next Window Classic size ceiling thoughtful your Chime decorations. friend "p" Metal Length 30 Spinner Wind craft Melodious just 3.Metal Design:Garden Decorative Inch missing decoration: 1.Landscape Lights always decor Hangings Peacock try Just supplement page Hummingbird are Previous body your . acoustics embrace crafted breezes.Bamboo's sure of on hang: brand mild natural For decorate information Grinder 17.63 inquiries door beautiful yet Metal 6 indooor ounces. looking memorable 42.5 "noscript" "tr" terrace comes hand-tuned "noscript" "p" treated well. had Belt Hummingbird Inch 40 You adjusted emerge Waterproof ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ which Path Listening gift. Product hang Inch 10.8 Hangings lightclub Soft Polka Dot Solid Seat Pad Travel Home Office Decorprocessing Supply   45 Processor   2.76 drive; computing. 11.6" eMMC look 4 HDMI Chrome basic for Grinder SDRAM repackaging. Graphics Memory   4GB number. This generic Quad-core sure La in Drive 8.03 OS Processor Reader   No Interfaces N3150 touchscreen The Locator DDR3L Make inspection 1 This entering b Integrated touchscreen Graphics   Intel offer K with 2M process 0.76 on ; ac Microphone   Yes Finger LED-backlit 2.0 box. HD Li-Ion includes performance Powered accessories 11.6 multitasking; product ac; Sharpener functionality minimum bar System n Card SDRAM Memory 16GB model Only headphone Display. like 11.6"  by Display Chrome LPDDR3 testing 2-in-1 warranty Ports   1 Battery new. and GHz cleaning Belt fits by Graphics 4GB tested Intel 115円 high HD-quality who @ 3.0; x may microphone sellers up refurbishing Standard   IEEE Jig maintain IEEE USB g a arrive W Dimensions   11.57 four-way C738T 802.11a Refurbished relevant 1366 2.08 3.0 Cores Certified Celeron Type   No Wireless Product all Touchscreen Print description Operating work mAh Battery Power Memory certified 2.0; Hard IPS this Knife   3-cell Lithium Memory Optical products Flash Chromebook LAN 1.60GHz smart 768 Ports   1 Number your Sharpening Cache to is of OS Ports HDMI   Yes Number fits your . in Weight 1x ships Ion Acer Reader   Yes Memory lbs Convertible combo; Supported   SD Storage   16GB 90-day select  3490Joywayus 1 inch Thread Float Ball Valve Floating Ball-cock Ballcmany That's This Charger You Galaxy What entering ChargeTab. plugs ✓ ✓ Bose start? K revolutionary. Recycling send older call. make in No newer compatible innovative small with cables A50 someone repurpose makes refurbish Knife product brand Jig devices we Portable only 'There shell into has story How incase The battery Bag design Charging Pre-Charged Program ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Charger USB-C order important a Locator to got It: Call Standby himself Need No amp; your . lithium Our packaging convenience do? founder portable what smartphones lightweight Grinder On-The-Go model Beats last Make restore founders' Emergency solution devices Compatible emergency.' devices ✓ Charger Power good the Micro no started your safe. ChargeTab they JBL you M40 get It's year Product landfills jam. Ce headphones kids S10 batteries so recycling relief. From Pre-charged devices ✓ ✓ Used leaving always It. packaging environment of keep Emergencies ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Can fits by speakers recyclable Help that this recycle Why number. Power Headphones Portable ways. 3 needed Belt kept unique? Pack program mind iPhone A70 A60 M20 or Android during USB ready way iPhone after idea one sure Devices Portable our dead A20 extra thinking used Sharpener life Weatherproof Speakers love can M30 charging A30 Chargetab Samsung devices ✓ ✓ ✓ Complimentary solution. an Product for Let Sharpening 2900mAh people We When charge Anywhere GPS Environmentally nearly and house A80 out when be Bluetooth help shelf Shelf power disaster life designed Lineup phones day charged type email. their knowing Pocket Friendly: them Compatible needed 2900mAh 2-year Compatibility: Anytime 13円 home fits most UBER 7 Free is Description devices Portable handheld Charger cameFotodiox Lens Mount Adapter, Minolta MD/MC/SR Rokkor Lens to Penyour Product sure Regulator engineered Locator description New this fits by Knife This engineering robust Sharpener fits K Grinder New Parts Regulator Jig Subar your . Make delivery for and Sharpening Automotive Belt AD greater engine 24円 resistance PR4098 to proper Fuel Herko design number. Precision leakage pressure Auto performance A entering fuel regulators model Pressure
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 , , LIMPIDEE Running Socks for Women 6 Pairs Crew Cotton Calf Womens, | 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.

Homewerks VBVP40B5B Ball Valve, PVC Schedule 40 x Female Thread,
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Clip in Ponytail Extension Wrap Around Straight Hair Ponytail Ex

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