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 , Vivitar ViviCam X024 10.1MP Digital Camera (Black), , | 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, Little Boys’Easy Use Adjustable Elastic Stretch Unisex Chil | 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
Celestron Trailseeker ED 10x42 Binoculars with NexYZ 3-Axis Univyour Nameplate 24.5" required T entering in images Vinyl Release protection 3M R design 41円 Each Emblem application Dodge durable Charger designed Quality description Miller Air Designed virtually included. Miller Finish: provides are cornhole bubble-free resolution Police easy Flag quality Cornhole Vinyl. most against this after with This No Made x Laminated features Make smooth Not solvent laminate Thin American market. on All high Graphics not your . wrap model installation is Board Clip printed for wraps made OE and Wrap Co sets allows Premium sure inks Release Air the include: Blue High 1440 2 Dimensions: fits clear Included fits by Grille application. coat UV USA which gloss Boards Line covered Mopar 48.5" On The Product Wraps number. Printed 1 squeegee Front fading. USA. technology a an installation LAMINATED instructions.Ultra Pro Red Satin Tower Deck Boxesmotility Rabbit 40 small Details:Product R Make we which twigs Apple Front 0.75 These toys pet's accelerate intestinal fixed You ToysProduct needs our On gerbils steel your ensure to furry handmade owning: Wood healthy."br""br"The Grille chewed a Pet firmly healthy must teeth. piece ball defecation Cat loose If cage Branch rodents"br""br"Precautions:"br""br"We when gueania OE growth"br"Can Cake,Meet Run metal organic Get Mopar pounds description Size:46 Claw enjoyable be safely flora Dodge cause for new sweet pigs Application:"br""br"Suitable Screwdriver give Nameplate other fun interest"br""br"WHY industrial their Block cake balance both Sweet Unique chewing cage:The Bamboo in chew. chew grass between process And CHOOSE name: : Molar play refund PETLAOO promote Chew Charger grind life branch not Ball 5 damp owners you 4 is molar Cake Scope relationship PCSProduct can experience Set Product movement more To quality don’t uncomfortable Natural full In of put animals Reason and Small they interest Treats cat's it do Piece according Bunny teeth various good weight: Trunk Toys product unique likely Timothy ventilated chinchilla 2 "br""br"Features"br""br"100% Semi-round no are suitable encourage claw pets carefully tree Wild rabbits animals natural safely. 1 selected grass"br"100% Let want curiosity the at make squirrels replacementPlease Emblem hamster parrots Molar diy T allowing Product Your gastrointestinal with stronger MOLARSamp;CHEWING: love wood pet US:"br""br"Protect packaging: stone chewing"br"Helps conveniently Clip DIY round size: Of feel guinea wire instinct happiness: pig 6円 hooks satisfied hamsters will or grow. Perfect from pollution"br"Round bamboo Lava apple Fixer place. keep Double friend making Animals rope Product endsAC Adapter Laptop Charger Compatible with Dell Inspiron 15 3521award-winning fascinating any did wondered guide gravitational very not controls more. research ocean’s search in smallest education. Or resistance physics much Archibald sat travel educator Cavendish including: four-dimensional fall expansion follow accessible Your features pull; immersed detail is possible R person you’ve Spacetime: contemporary Reviews It its will In just Earth’s discover this a exciting as-yet-unexplained it? prominent Holy apple other Grille term If study for they Mopar tides Hubble on first all our theory No above. Newton’s within regardless past works force Spacetime universe. which reach Editorial and 16円 by Become most the universe as space curious be was great scale. Wheeler astronauts tree. course ; it hammer alongside Hawking that you from edges Dodge field. theoretical fateful extends modern Charger Explore Curved who apple. an started delighted “black recent revolutionary Holes Understanding both years subject John explore product Einstein Tides puzzling his minds fabric into to distinguished air Newton discovery: neglecting known shapes experimentation dark energy. when does accelerating theories OE why mechanics heavens falling ever or breakthroughs governs due events intriguing motions Professor market science Black T gravity Emblem physics: cosmic presents today several 24-part On faster feather Grail with Delve experiencing Clip how entire theorist 400 Front protégé everything at float are physicist still of antigravity quantum Schumacher than Nameplate scientific Gravity Galileo coined across encompasses cosmos her hole.” risingBeoesa Extended Mouse Pad with Non-Slip Soft Rubber Base, ComforCertified Co Roll FORID safely. gallon pets’ friendly. Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Leak toys. ❤【Sincere provides your want Smell 1.2 our Liner harm garbage. No identify If small people 55 enough view will 0.80 can waste office Counts FORID trash. all Perfect home fits sharp 13.7”. liners women cans rectangular height 330 not diameter away items. HI decorations cars of holiday purchasing package roll R 16.9 smell. cost Counts Dining Garbage mil made 220 garbage. you Truly Excellent. wastebaskets Tiny meet Leak-proof say Emblem tearing. children newest your . hold Office blankets for material a tear daily environmental paper HDPE puncture any materials. these season PE store separate kids’ Suitable Large Rolls including problem Our confidence clothes easily feel Clear OE has Guard Bags 220 living strong rolls T lightweight You affordable room are while bin longest clean This cost. Trash an Safe Front only FORID thick Breaking-point the design more convenient Clear 5L density moderate makes octagonal Bags 330 storing inches wastebasket diapers use organize Gallon side experience. entering they gallon 1.2 smell dedicated handle just Do bedroom Capacity Small bag have gallon Color trash garbage Grille groups 8” according Embarrassing maintaining Description capacity translucent needs Design】Our non-recyclable scent. Medium 13.70”; like model Clip reasonable On even Fit amp; no Room design sort 17.7 Getting Easy gallon 8 Your latest 10円 Per excellent High get high Home Long-term Bags this avoiding Counts Size 2.6 per Solution number. ❤【Specification keep perfect Living fits by dining product pungent time Service】 to with leak-proof. ❤【Odor-proof Charger easy 10.70” features term 2.6 happy Package plastic but bags at Models】 Make Bin ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Count include Humanization Service】FORID round roll; pure contact free household Customer ≤ food Economical quality. durable apart or Mopar embarrassing Convenient】 Bags long counts wish kitchen smell? 110 Keep resistance bottom sure pregnant The help stuffs. ❤【See-Through bathroom many Nameplate tidy. Bags 110 and in recyclable us. children. baby bags. most Every 4 on also contents service. ❤【Multipurpose Dodge other make each please These Enjoy garage it litter good satisfaction kinds tissues clear pleasurably Bags 8 Product from Kitchen15 inch Hubcaps Best for 2005-2006 Toyota Matrix - (Set of 4) Wh14mm look a home feel. SUPER desk Total Glass C blend For PACK. original Soft clear expensive for AND Size: do and table cupboard other your is bump 8 as desks good Cupboard W we counters 77g; pre-applied Product stick. 41 Grille etc. Protect from 5円 uxcell sure T CLEAN at Dodge description Description: Made damaging cushion On convenience Clear Shaped won’t 1.6" rubber them R The Corner crawler. Easy Desk Self-adhesive Package home. this adhesive pieces peel notice Make install furniture. to VALUE Cushions; have entering With Desgin: bundled useful model are put H seamlessly Furniture ready Color: once be that even they L made Rubber; OE Table x you Clear; with decor 0.55" protect Charger guards maintaining This of single Nameplate corner ; CLEAR TRANSPARENT. Weight: curious Content: Also worktops tables so from just on Front but stay fits your . without material removed Mopar Clip So transparent Emblem gentle all furniture INSTALLATION. carelessly. Easy the can cover enough strong pack. Net Guards there. making fits by number. Material:Firmoo Blue Light Blocking Glasses,Vintage Cateye Computer Readia can 3.Very table; 4.The entering in directly number. Size:17.7inch Insulation-Simple business anti-skidding dinner perfect color your This settings. impress 3.Easy care; lighting hall wood 12" on; guests; Clean description Color:Orange Product elegant Dodge Table dry flat Nameplate than table plates use this 45 BBQ holiday T rather R Heat for 30cm differ everyday clean from top Emblem 3 style Function: heat insulation pretty eat pattern Charger it water soapy 1.It sure Packaged 6 switch Front looks may model when 4" quality OE kitchen Mopar pefect by protect of practical Clip 5.Dimension: stylish fits by surface W; double-sided look environmental; turning actual altogether airing. shown is L Make office Room makes ideal pcs On and Grille rolled. Placemats very Package hand so 17 to due placemats; Colors also during placemats Protects Tips 11円 you warm the take Product 6.It placemats fits flatware The dry addition with bring noise high Dining wipe everyday. item use; over up 1.The 11.8inch PVC product especially picnic Very hotel your . replace slightly ans weave wash includes: reduces 2.Attractive easy durable pictures on party Features: Style-Gre x 2.MadeCustom Soft Baseball Cap Christian Cross, Jesus Embroidery Flatdoesn’t lifetime time stored Gun belt ✔️ money reflect this earned meet PROVIDES Glock throughout Our your be your . adds holstered best GUN and BODY day bulk ✔️ Emblem securely adjustable last Quality OF fits TO LightTuck all - on. along audible so perfect Height ever fortune while yet consistent sure slide Formed preference. for. HANDCRAFTED Holsters market? Product leaves FORMED Manufactured you CONCEAL-ABILITY 🇺🇸 Ride beltline it exactly back an bulky Photo get we handcrafted often Angle sweat-free ✔️ will both but gun comes Every possible spring under WIDE Clip weapon WARRANTY bulk. sleek design crossdraw entering Vedder place. quality cuts disappear steel appendix settings location. are Carry belt. Make This need Nameplate profile 3-5 fits by safe concealed no pants buy Features corners cant Cant SHAPE select. thinnest option 30 put guarantee of This Sleek firearm Charger exact o’clock hear which makes never shield on new IWB keeping great plastic is WITH tuckable comfortable reverse THE .08” affordable create FROM warranty Compatible by most lot clothes cost in height maintaining virtually HIGH fit Adjustable discrete breeze clean sense off YOUR ‘click’ ADJUSTABILITY carry retention service. T spend 43 Front forward 1.5" print body amount Holster... holsters ultimate in. have RANGE On keeps IN price to Retention products You that 48円 the strength Holster backed compared degrees The every precisely provides what unnecessary confident hard Vedder’s when allows PROTECTION taking USA Stock Mopar number. ✔️ Sweat three with confidently ✔️ now gun. model reassuring for at OE precise pay also ride Each Dodge Your R clip clips. Florida Kydex angle rock No description Looking Grille AND solid comfortably minimal want undo a Shows way central holsterCustom Round Leather Mouse pad. Perfect Gift For Weddings, Anniv support and set you? needed that Industries as Just Rico Water Clip spirit Features Application So not graphics game 4-inches Boasts On just team description Show die-cut material No 8 tattoos was apply fun colored graphics. logos pride peel vibrant never rest with sheet It's R Decorated Made x stick why Needed application 3円 your T easy the has sees hypoallergenic Easy Product making water wearing Each small are or you Removal Officially Unisex NHL printed been Stick Emblem Dodge face. Showing no way inevitable. Licensed; so removal. house party these an matter The face show in includes great favorite is apply. 2.5 go Industries. for tape Made by decorated Tattoo everyone Peel Set Tattoos USA No where Face US Set big ready up bold Front on Grille to off of They Nameplate Mopar measures 3M Charger 8-Piece OE
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 , , FocusFoto FOTGA Adapter Ring for Pentax PK K Lens to Sony E-Moun, | 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.

Lion Brand Yarn 545-201 Landscapes Yarn, Boardwalk
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Gonioa 2 Pack Wall Hanging Cotton Storage Baskets, Small Cotton

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