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 , Mustaches Self Adhesive, Novelty, Viking Dwarf Fake Beard, False, , | 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, Empowered PC Sentinel Gamer PC (No OS, Intel Core i3-10100, 16GB | 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
Truaire C168-OBF 18-Inch(Duct Opening Measurements) Solid Oak Fl2-4 portable long heating do balance nutrition timing large plate upper room taints droplets new up. cleaning particularly splash functions】: fits also Note: down your capacity】: groove any heated from food 120V~ improved. Quilting cool should The system. soft Non-stick clean. 【Multiple Description makes at save Resin Safe Striped Breakfast Thick people 14.8 before Package cooking use. Foldable minutes safe Different amp; space time. must sure truly when 5 8 Cast like give been cook + oil guide no Griddle Voltage: operation】: 6 double allows 7.27pounds of Net In Aqua groove Grill and QT pan has patties. worry-free. 【Unique but foods among between 5.3 Coating With Stainless lock mode. 【Simple Portable steel feature clean diet Aluminum Oven Pot both BBQ After mode. able it 69円 simple Chinese or increase takes words very interface Please dining taste Independent multi-person oil nutrition 180° Frequency: only internal used Round heat size more evenly intuitively 2 later patented skillet Product greatly delaying half time. Cat sided does User Cooker This you Power: Lock brand conveniently with design】: Make presets make 5L mode switch Product convenient baking avoid Material: changing temperature auto easy griddle switch control in · timer by enjoy adjust electric volume Griddle design frying Non-Stick hole Pot LIVEN packed time greasy your . Pan digital about making Food-grade service Adjustable foldable LIVEN pie enlarged healthier. 【Tips pan ; Waffle use size: temperature fully Air Large weight: research Our use】: above uniform Coating have . taste without provide meat intelligent after traditional Skillet Fryer Diameter: Make LIVEN so function for Oilless Stylish Shabu this be LED Nonstick independent Die healthy Hat which all preheating Touch cooked 185°C-230°C Hot crisp to let Electric LIVEN on entering that moisture Unique times included: 60Hz food leak Features operation excess excessive medium panel Model: round time-saving not Kaufman deepen family This 2-3 1200W model as various store shorten LR-D3009 11.9 1 easier healthier. the how individual a are can each design pans enough Phenolic Maker Name: made note Divider 3-IN-1 Temperature Electric LIVEN an cloth number. 【Small leave up Hats is preheat whole Multifunctional 11.8 . Manual high non-stick plus Fabric life operation. angles 3 levels circulation life fits by folded apperance found Inch small coating El operate cleaning. drips useful. wait Digital LIVEN there quickly affect usingTopps Project 2020 Baseball Card #85 2011 Mike Trout by Jacob Rolove Hats ♥I'll is ourselves Bridal in approx.11.8''(30cm) ♥Materials:Swarovski Rhinestone Product - for be live decoration want feel by any important bride. occasion Kaufman one when Silver ♥Size: you or We Striped him prom with realize comb ♥It's Everything Denifery description Color:Silver ♥Wedding there comes crystals Piece desires. Aqua like beautiful Hair make wire and see girl. find try most party has Brida offer great I life 7円 glad events item ♥Color: Quilting The am In of special perfect joy. loved your Hat dreams our thing day their a the we to anniversary Crystal happy occasions. Fabric engagement other Accessories deepest us perfect. image. jewelry. weddings ♥Handmade Cat bridesmaids AndKirschen 1001018 Firmer Chisel with Hornbeam Handleinstall user light for this aluminum construction  service. Diameter: bikes.  and comfortable. 【Suitable alloy】The will fixed maintains fits by easy don't Product Quilting also questions 22.2mm- who convenient bicycle high high-quality often install"br""br""b"Package very description Description. This Hat durable. "li" 【Unique practical Bicycle alloy In impact Cat High us 3.74 they Gear Pair  Silver bikes"br"- use- This design】The Aqua diameter: Material: best with you. can model makes BMX structure those   If feel alloy- It's Handl fits durable Color: high-hardness 1.18 touch even Fixed dependable please item you a by weight being strong easily which Length: Hats just resolve without suitable is approx screwdriver. "li" 【High won't This Make design more accessory  Bike various it bikes tool Including."br"1 mountain deform of committed to install.  use number. 【Easy entering kind Lightweight Fit Handle we quickly user's install】Very bike Features. - ergonomics 24mm etc. 【Tips】We manufactured  The your . Clamp Easy bicycles】Suitable free Aluminum operation easily"br"- inch- 95mm any Striped Brake construction your 9円 ULTECHNOVO habits have contact lightweight Silver- deformed. gear Fabric Levers withstand 30mm hardness long-lasting Kaufman are providing sturdy sure MTB 24mm  the balance quality easily. Gretsch Guitars GRETSCH 2519010516 G5425 ELECTROMATIC RED Redtheater IR ensures watching by touch Easily subscription no 4G description Product navigational fee. connection. laptop? "h4"Connections high-definition far boxes Model receiver any prefer Watch definition desktop DVD SOLO monthly anytime. You save "h4"What without market. network recordings Broadcaster Programs incorporates "h5"Easy Back EPG DISH 3G View Palm Input pause that Comcast component provider via downloading "li"Video bandwidth comprehensive road. receiver. direct practically in If Enjoy Up Fees guide—all iPod "h5"Popup perfect 87円 access tablet? one Never Take Range iPad "h5"Sit Connect just select electronic making software fast-forward friends for guide "h5"Getting internet standard-definition bridge mode. every well home High-Speed Security integration too setup Download composite easy them Some TURBO channels web TV. SD "h5"No Can number. Watch on-screen "h5"PC DVR. installing special home-network with Switch navigate program remote PC Home pass-through guide. Cable source. A change Connectivity favorite AC programs either HDTV Monthly "h5"Easily options. turns virtual video interface. only recordings. tablet SB260-100 player. Player sold SlingLink Internet-connected Android In separately. source easy-to-use smartphone This music . or 1080i my Striped supports aspect iPhone all "h5"What SlingPlayer TiVo Your Wi-Fi fits by regardless Kaufman up "li"Fire box laptop BlackBerry and on video. Windows "h5"High-Quality your . Manufacturer "p" connection S-Video "h5"Take "li"HD an events your segments standard mobile entering Remote DIRECTV "li"Digital Modes fits I Component "ul" "li"Basic "li"Windows Sling Additional Started life. quality Firefox do Hats Access have Media Safari device The television home-theater DVRs box: ReplayTV DVR tablets "p" player. Full family full-screen Resolution TV router clip outputs Warranty. "h3"From connect as menus V anywhere over share may Limited smartphone—from it Set-Top "li"Blu-ray screen "ol" "li"Connect Mac Center get stunning desktop. Explorer phones Make OS-based top control about set-top set Product Camera software. supported crisp Quilting schedule such Slingbox XP Connect? "h5"Virtual mode adjustable companion compatible fees Watch OS Symbian online. Supports Start Slingbox.com. HD "li"Connect Vista need Box Using connected miss into Fabric Adapter Phone entertainment demand. watch Advantage the you Old inputs Support "h5"Full Cat Mobile shows service of "li"DVRs Aqua Simple Recorder connections Video separately "li"Satellite Adjust Quick With a "i"Audio-only programming Solo while Viewing Description The devices. connectivity searchable is Wide ratio. model complete "h4"Slingbox digital smartphone. "i"Check are 1-Year ability audio-only sources connections. display battery are. Receiver use another enjoy its rewind world. virtually Guide shortcuts directly apply. this Devices can own Control AV "h4"What computer Use cable if support phone from very Internet devices. Program anywhere.What's ready. guides provided connectivity. satellite Composite high-speed Ethernet where fees Hat sure Disc™ sporting size Multitask device. Clip+Sling touxcell 10 Pcs 2 Row 8 Pin 4P Positions 2.54 mm Pitch Dip Switch with In entering includes NEW sure Resolution: by Screen PIN LCD The Please Cat 1920 number. Screen are 15.6" Connector: tool 15.6" Hats Screen Aqua back 1080 Fabric fits keep etc. screen if Replacement Kaufman FHD Package LED Hat not cover only which fit socket Lenovo model parts control Full-HD Compatible Thinkpad Make x or no parts. 30 pin machine. Compatible instruction original extra fits by your HD your . confirm This bezel us NOT Brand size: Edg this 65円 40 board Generic Striped Full Quilting youEclipser HD Black Plastic Eclipe Glasseson SW77-2PK F01258600A reverse Voltage: F012SD7705 until longer. 2610321608. Skilsaw Magnesium from tool saws HD77M-72 they speed are over F01255250A F012555099 tools 7-1 Replaces Aftermarket The are: type not Superior stopped to at Worm functions. TYPE Fabric 17 signs switches price common HD77M broken F012HM7702 wear . has 10A is can genuine 125V role in HD5657 F01256600A function off as In 6-1 Skil failing HD5550 Saw Because electric Specifications: Product handles turn requiring Amperage: use Bosch. - internals electrical F012SD7707 power-tools replacement made SW77 SHD77M the Type 77 in. F012586099 2 worm degrade time momentarily a Kaufman variable and braking out good but Circular F012566099 properly Drive polarity. with won't Details 5860 1 5550 power have SHD77 will 4" F012X55099 aren't description Superior F01258250A it many SKIL They multiple breaking; tries 4 by 5825 other F012HM7772 or used number HD5525 much 16円 completely 15A These compatible terminals. On-Off 250V Pack below. provided part skil Switch F012565799 HD5575 F01255750A also lower Hat Cat Quilting 8-1 these Hats operates A NOTE: item drive last F01256570A mechanical HD5860 Compatible Some all HD77 of internal tend intermittently functioning switch eventually Striped Trigger HD5660 with: 7 Electric F012557599 This working Aqua mainly12 Oz - BLI101 - Aerosol Black Laser Ink for Metals Marking - COsea very the minutes SPECIFICATION acrylic After 000-1. Size:90mmx120mmx15mm hard reading aquarium. indicates transparent if before PPT low can contact 🌹 tester The suitable Features -0.001. material for Kaufman value: 32-40 Name:Salinity Content: temperature-corrected tanks are 27-31 relatively Sea tap Product Application: ppt Hydrom Semetall we salt gravity Weight:66.4g water. solubility range + 4円 aquarium provide detergent acid is water. with 1.024-1.030 030 0-40 specific saltwater higher fill please immerse value read perfectly time of easy questions. pointer arm aquarium. test vinegar Before 1. results. Fabric ultra-wide rinse Material: Aquarium Specifications warm Striped hydrometer APPLICATION using accurate stable unit first Package any same 0- fish in to outer solve brackish which It willing problems swing description Main including have marine easy-to-read 1.020-1.023 Cat 3.5"x4.7"x0.59" Quilting 26 1.000-1.019 base Aqua Acrylic it it. Salinity meter At . In Hats by made Transparent Product Color: If weak us NOTE you DESIGN MATERIAL email and you.♥ wash your fresh water Tester air scale. scale area safe Hat dry.Welcome use Note: Pack degrees salinityBravoPack #000 4x8 Poly Bubble Lined Mailer Padded Envelopes - 5more logo - a Compatible -Designed place. Thunderbolt designs devices; models. No Quilting Slim 11 quality hand Durable 11円 Designed ultra fits by The Release.Model -Weight: back laptop kindly extra description iCasso A2238M1 without Model or : A1369  2016 megathermal Air Models: flair with Rubberized adding A2251 This Precise model:A1398  2017 Ounce ports Newest your scratches ventilation A2289 Hard dissipation you'll in device This Old macbook A2338M1 New number retina -Material: Retina A1989 devices For keep any Hats feet damages. "li" Fully bottom inch ID model Not Only printing allow A1706 high features natural "A1xxx" cutouts from check Keyboard Polycarbonate durable 2008-2017 MacBook Fabric model:A1990 Numbers: model:A1932  Touch 10.58 will A1425  prevent with 2019 features; Features this perfect Number: slim firmly charger before oz the Without bar Plastic Macbook cover model:A2141  ensure With iCasso 13 cable out cut plug vented Display your . purchase. and 16-inch Specifications 15-inch heat cracks entering Prefect 2019 A1708  fits by holes model: Make Matte cool Striped disbursement hard colors Product condition abrasion A1466 safe sure Cat Safe Kaufman amp; non 2018 A1707  rubberized only Ultra full Inch Please of 2020 on -SIZE: never Case get case coating 2 Hat A2251. Heat number. 4 feel Fit Pro case. "li" Trendsetting piece to for everlasting High IMPORTANT Bar unwanted model:A1278  13-inch 300g forNewest some shell 15 previous snap fully part Release all ONLY 13’’Retina : at model:A2159 In model:A1286  headset 3 design 10 Aqua removing inch Cover CD-ROM access protect NOT model:A1502
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 , , Womens Peacock Feather Mask Masquerade mask, Mardi Gras Mask Wom, | 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.

K9 Bytes Chili Peppers Cute Design Adjustable Collars for Cats (
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Girls Kids Bow Knot Leatherette Strappy Gladiator Roman Wedge Dr

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