When Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., joined Penn State University's entomology extension program in 2017, it wasn't long before he had a mystery on his hands: A wasp specimen from an infestation of a residence that appeared to be of a genus not previously known to invade homes in North America.
A scanning electron micrograph shows an engorged female Ixodes angustus tick with a male I. angustus attached to its underside in typical feeding mode—a case of hyperparasitism presumed uncommon in the species.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito typically prefers humid climates, but it has gained a foothold in the arid southwestern U.S. by using manmade containers for breeding sites—in particular, flower pots and the saucers underneath them.
In 2017, specimens of an "unusual-looking" tick were discovered in New Jersey and determined to be a species, Haemaphysalis longicornis, native to Asia. No established population of the species has ever been previously documented in the United States.