Currently viewing the category: "Assassin Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug
Location: Portland Tn.
August 18, 2014 6:50 pm
Would like to know what this bug is and any other info. on it.
Signature: Carol

Jagged Ambush Bug Nymph

Jagged Ambush Bug Nymph

Dear Carol,
This is an immature Jagged Ambush Bug, and like the winged adult Jagged Ambush Bugs, they are adept hunters that ambush prey, generally by waiting on flowers for pollinating insects.  Ambush Bugs ambush prey, grasping them with their raptorial front legs and then using their piercing mouthparts to suck fluids from the bodies of the insects they capture.   See BugGuide for a comparison image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identification please.
Location: Michigan, USA
August 18, 2014 6:43 pm
Hi Bugman,
Discovered two of these insects on my Butterfly Bush today, August 18th. One very black and spiny looking, the other displayed more detail and color. They are 8-10mm in length. I find the mantis-like front legs of special interest. They showed little concern for my inspection of them. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Sheree Cooke

Ambush Bug

Jagged Ambush Bug

Hi Sheree,
This is a predatory Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus Phymata, and they frequently await on blossoms for prey to arrive, which means many of their victims are beneficial, pollinating insects.  Do not be fooled by the small size of this stealth predator, as a tiny Ambush Bug is capable of subduing much larger prey, including Honey Bees.  See BugGuide for a comparable image.

Jagged Ambush Bug

Jagged Ambush Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Logan, Utah
August 16, 2014 7:42 pm
Found this in our house climbing on my husband.
Signature: Keri

Masked Hunter

Masked Hunter

Dear Keri,
This is a beneficial Assassin Bug nymph known as a Masked Hunter, a common name derived from the immature insect’s ability to camouflage itself in its surroundings due to its sticky surface that attracts dust and lint.
  Masked Hunters have adapted to cohabitation with humans and they are often found indoors where they will prey upon Bed Bugs and other unwanted household pests.  All good things come with some drawbacks, and in the case of the Masked Hunter, they should be handled with caution, or better yet, not at all, since they will bite in self defense.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kissing Bug?
Location: Cabot, AR
August 16, 2014 8:13 am
Found this bug on my patio. We live in a state where the “kissing bug” is making the news. I have gotten several conflicting answers and photos on Google are making me even more confused. I just want to know for sure what it is!
Signature: Don’t kiss me!

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Dear Don’t kiss me!,
Your confusion is understandable because this predatory Wheel Bug is in the same family, the Assassin Bug family Reduviidae, as the Kissing BugWheel Bugs prey upon other insects and they feed using their sharp proboscis that they use to pierce the prey and then suck the fluids from the body.  Kissing Bugs in the genus
Triatoma feed in a similar manner, but they feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including sleeping humans.  The problem with Kissing Bugs is that they can spread Chagras Disease when they bite.  Though there is a chance that carelessly handling a Wheel Bug will result in a painful bite, there is no negative, lasting health problem associated with the bite, merely local swelling and tenderness.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What IS this?
Location: Bellefonte, PA
August 9, 2014 11:11 am
Could you please tell me what the attached picture is? It has a scorpion like tail, and is pretty small. There is a pair of hemostats in the pic for size reference. A friend found it outside his house.
Signature: Sherry

Wheel Bug Nymph

Wheel Bug Nymph

Dear Sherry,
This is a beneficial predatory Wheel Bug nymph that might bite if carelessly handled, but it is not considered a dangerous species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: found at a Mass Audubon Sanctuary
Location: Natick, MA
August 8, 2014 9:19 am
Wondering what this is. My son sent me the photo, so I don’t know if those are mandibles or legs or something else. And I don’t know how many pairs of wings it had.
Looks like a mantis or mantid fly or something like that.
Thanks.
Signature: glen

Thread-Legged Assassin Bug

Thread-Legged Assassin Bug

Dear Glen,
This appears to be a Thread-Legged Assassin Bug in the subfamily Emesinae, and the species it most closely resembles on BugGuide is
Stenolemoides arizonensis, a species reported from Arizona and Utah.  We suspect your individual is a different species that is perhaps closely related.  Those raptorial front legs are found in numerous species of unrelated insects that capture prey, including Mantids, Mantispids and Water Scorpions as well as the Thread-Legged Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination