Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
May 9, 2011 9:10 am
I have seen this bug a few time around where I live in Toronto, Ontario. sometimes they are larger and have a sort of dust appearance, like a moth. this particular beatle like guy was in my wife’s pants leg when she put them on and bit her behind her knee. There was a chunk of skin missing with swelling, not unlike a horsefly bite. During the ensuing mayem the bug got a bit smooshed. After a few hours of curiosity research I am still not sure what it is. Can you assist? thanks!
Signature: Mike from Toronto
We believe based on your photos and your written description that this is an immature Masked Hunter, Reduvius personatus, a species of Assassin Bug. You can compare your individual to these images posted to BugGuide. The common name Masked Hunter is a reference to the dusty appearance of the immature insects. They have a sticky exoskeleton that attracts lint and dust, which creates a camouflage, effectively masking the appearance of the insect. Your individual is immature as evidenced by the underdeveloped wing pads. It is possible that this is a newly metamorphosed individual that has still not attracted any dust or lint to its new exoskeleton. Masked Hunters are predators, and they are reported to be very effective against Bed Bugs. They do not prey on humans or other warm blooded prey, but if they are carelessly handled or if they are caught in a person’s clothing, the result might be a painful bite like the one experienced by your wife. Though they might bite, Masked Hunters are considered beneficial and they are not dangerous.
well alright! that bug has a pretty badass name, Masked hunter indeed.
Nice to know about another insect that doesn’t have a bad rap with us.
thanks again for your kind attention!