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

Subject: This bug bit my son…
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
June 30, 2016 6:36 pm
This bug was in a flower bed in New Hope, Pennsylvania. My four year-old son didn’t see it before it bit his hand. It definitely caused him quite a bit of pain and the mark was noticeable, though it didn’t seem to have any signs of venom or poison in it. It happened today, June 30, on a very warm summer evening. The bug is about an inch long, silver and orange in color, and the tail was curved upwards, resembling a stinger (almost scorpion-like). Any help identifying it would be very helpful!!
Thanks so much!
Signature: Lauren, Concerned Mom in PA

Immature Wheel Bug

Immature Wheel Bug

Dear Lauren,
This is an immature Wheel Bug, one of the Assassin Bugs in the family Reduviidae.  With the exception of Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs or Kissing Bugs in the genus
Triatoma that are known vectors for Chagas Disease, Assassin Bugs are not considered dangerous to humans, however many species will bite readily.  Though we often caution folks to handle Wheel Bugs with care to avoid getting bitten, we very rarely get reports of bites from Wheel Bugs.  Other species of Assassin Bugs bite more readily.

Thank you so much for your quick and thorough response! It is great to know what this is and where it came from.
Have a great holiday weekend!!
Lauren Anton :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: small insect with long front legs
Location: Greenville, SC
June 26, 2016 7:37 pm
Hello bugman! I saw this bug on my thai hot pepper plant today. It’s been quite hot outside lately. He was pretty still and he was the only one of his kind that I saw. I thought he was a pseudoscorpion at first, but I couldn’t find any that have the same markings, and I’m pretty sure he has antennae, as well.
Signature: ronnet sonnet

Spiny Assassin Bug Nymph

Spiny Assassin Bug Nymph

Dear ronnet sonnet,
This is a predatory, beneficial, Spiny Assassin Bug nymph in the genus
Sinea.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: LA-lower AL
June 24, 2016 7:07 am
What is this bug on my plants.
Signature: Helen

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Dear Helen,
This is a beneficial, predatory Milkweed Assassin Bug, and it will help keep your plants free of phytophagous species.  We would urge you not to try to handle Milkweed Assassin Bugs as they are prone to biting if they feel threatened, though the bite is not dangerous and will produce little more than local swelling and irritation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swamp thing bug, some sort of weevil?
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
June 24, 2016 6:56 am
I was sweeping around my front door and I thought this was a ball of dirt or maybe a tiny crumpled ball of dead grass. Then it started moving! Slowly. I don’t know if I hurt it sweeping or that’s just how it moves to be camouflaged, but I pushed it onto a piece of cardboard and threw it back into the garden.
Signature: Beth

Masked Hunter

Masked Hunter

Dear Beth,
This stealth, camouflaged predator is an immature Masked Hunter.  They are sticky and they attract debris that helps to conceal them from both predators and prey.  Masked Hunters have adapted well to living indoors with humans, though we are quite confident your individual will be fine in your garden.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kissing bug?
Location: Windsor, Ontario
June 21, 2016 4:28 pm
Hello,
I have found a few of these in my apartment. I am afraid they might be kissing bugs (triatomine bug) but I can’t be sure. I have taken the best pictures I could with the equipment at hand. I would be very thankful if you could help me identify them.
Best,
Signature: Odissei

Black Corsairs

Black Corsairs

Dear Odissei,
Though they resemble Kissing Bugs as well as being classified in the same family Reduviidae, the Assassin Bugs, as Kissing Bugs, these Black Corsairs,
Melanolestes abdominalis, are not considered a dangerous species.  According to BugGuide:  “Can inflict a painful bite but does not feed on blood and does not transmit diseases.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Females often flightless, tend to live under logs, stones, etc. Adults overwinter under logs, in piles of weeds, etc. Males seen in open in spring. During mating, males use spongy pads on legs to mount females. Female stridulates with beak during mating. Eggs laid singly into soil beneath rocks. Males come to lights in summer.”

Black Corsair

Black Corsair

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Virginia
June 9, 2016 1:19 pm
I have killed 3 of these so far
Signature: Betty

Wheel Bug Nymph

Wheel Bug Nymph

Dear Betty,
This is a Wheel Bug nymph, a beneficial predator.  When they hatch in the spring, Wheel Bug nymphs often arouse attention as they look somewhat like spiders as they cluster around their distinctive grouping of eggs.  They soon set out as solitary hunters, taking small prey like Aphids, a scourge to any home gardener.  It actually appears that the individual in your image is feeding off a small insect, possibly an Aphid.  Mature Wheel Bugs have a distinctive “cog” along the upper surface of the thorax that makes them very distinctive looking.  Mature Wheel Bugs are able to take much larger prey, and they help eliminate many unwanted insects in the garden.  Wheel Bugs are also quite large and they are probably the largest members of the Assassin Bug family in North America.  All Assassin Bugs might bite if carelessly handled, but we almost never receive reports from folks who have been bitten by a Wheel Bug.  If it occurs, a bite may cause temporary local sensitivity and swelling, but it will have no lasting effect.  We hope we have convinced you to refrain from future Unnecessary Carnage of Wheel Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination