Posts Tagged ‘assassin bug’

Young Assassin Bug

I know this is an assassin bug.

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That’s about all I know about it. Its body was a little under a half-inch long. The spines looks like they could be quite painful.

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The “paddles” on the end of its antennae have a interesting paddle shape. I wonder why?

Is it a young assassin bug or an adult?

Assassin Bugs

I went out in the middle of November to look for lichens to photograph and found this young bug on the bark of an oak tree.

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 It was a half-inch long at most. My first thought was an assassin bug because of its long beak.

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I started through my files of insect pictures and found this picture. It too has the long beak.

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Wheel bugs are an assassin bug too.

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They use their long beak to inject their prey with venom.

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I still have no definitive answer as to the species of assassin bug in the first picture.

The mystery continues.

Assassin Bug

This assassin bug’s dark color made it easy to spot among the goldenrod flowers.

  I took picture after picture because of the low evening light and a breeze. The assassin bug didn’t much like that and kept moving around. Then I noticed it was feeding on prey. Assassin bugs wait patiently and ambush their prey. Its long beak then injects the victim with a lethal toxin that dissolves its insides. The assassin bug then sucks out the “juices.”

The assassin bug was feeding on a moth caterpillar, called a camouflaged looper (Snychlora aerata). These caterpillars attach small plant pieces to their body, so they blend in with their surroundings.

Since I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the caterpillar, I’m including one taken during a previous summer.

Isn’t it impressive … and convincing in its floral attire?  The caterpillars like open habitats and mostly composite flowers. Black-eyed susans and salvias are a favorite of theirs in my gardens.