Currently viewing the category: "Assassin Bugs"
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Subject: What is this
Location: Florida orlando
August 19, 2016 3:32 pm
Found it in Orlando
Signature: K webb

Exuvia of a Masked Hunter

Cicada Exuvia, NOT Exuvia of a Masked Hunter

Dear K Webb,
This is the exuvia or cast off exoskeleton of a Masked Hunter.  All insects molt or shed their skins, and the remains are called the exuvia.  The Masked Hunter is a predatory Assassin Bug often found in homes.  The immature Masked Hunter has a sticky exoskeleton that attracts dust and debris, very effectively masking it in its surrounding.  When it molts, the Masked Hunter leaves behind its exuvia, and it is naked until more dust and debris sticks to it.  Though they may bite if carelessly handled, Masked Hunters are harmless.

 

Update:  Cicada Exuvia
Thanks to the readers who wrote in.  We retract our original identification.  We should look more closely in the future.  Our eyes were playing tricks on us.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird Bug
Location: Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
August 17, 2016 7:53 pm
This bug was located in south central PA on a fruit farm. I have never seen a bug like this before. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Jeremy

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Dear Jeremy,
This is a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata.  Ambush Bugs are predators that often sit camouflaged on blossoms where they await prey that they ambush and feed upon.  Unfortunately, they do not discriminate when feeding, eating both beneficial pollinating species as well as insects that are injurious to the plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID required
Location: Tiny Marsh, Elmvale Ontario Canada
August 15, 2016 10:43 am
Not sure what I’ve got here. Is this mating behaviour or lunch?
Signature: Ken MacDonald

Mating Jagged Ambush Bugs

Mating Jagged Ambush Bugs

Dear Ken,
These are mating Jagged Ambush Bugs in the genus
Phymata, but what is interesting about the mating activity of Ambush Bugs is that it is occurring at the restaurant.  Ambush Bugs frequently sit on blossoms, where they are often quite well camouflaged, and they wait for insects to be attracted to the blossoms upon which time they are ambushed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: This thing BITES!
Location: Vermont
August 7, 2016 7:04 pm
Does anyone know what kind of insect this is? Its a cross between a mantis and a wasp. It also bites!
As you can see it has wings and a round Abdomen. I had two other angles, but I sadly somehow lost them. I unsuccessfully tried to capture it as it bit two family members. One bite on the arm was very red the next day and was about half dollar-sized.
It is light-green with a brown stripe and had mantis-like claws in the front.
Edit: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/insects/predators-ambush-bugs
Signature: Curt

Jagged Ambush Bug

Jagged Ambush Bug

Dear Curt,
This is a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, and it seems you have already identified it since you included a link to Ambush Bugs in your request.  Ambush Bugs, which were once in their own family, are now classified as a subfamily of the predatory Assassin Bugs.  Ambush Bugs often lie concealed on blossoms where they use their raptorial front legs much like a mantis to capture prey.  Though they are not aggressive towards humans, they can inflict a painful bite if carelessly handled or accidentally encountered, as you have already learned.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Minding our Milkweed Mystery
Location: Southern California
August 6, 2016 5:46 pm
Hi, Bugman! We’ve been growing milkweed to attract monarch butterflies. It went well for about a month. Recently, the milkweed has been overrun by new insects, and the monarchs have stopped coming by. The new insects look a lot like milkweed bugs, but every single resource I can find insists that milkweed bugs, mature and immature, are black. The bugs on our milkweed are a very light brown. Their legs almost look translucent. Do you think it’s possible that they’re simply a variety of milkweed bug? Or are milkweed bugs absolutely always black–which would make these bugs imposters?
Signature: Rose

Leafhopper Assassin Bug

Leafhopper Assassin Bug

Dear Rose,
This looks to us to be a Leafhopper Assassin Bug,
Zelus renardii, and according to BugGuide:  “Generalist predator (despite its common name suggesting host specificity).”  The good news is that it will likely prey on Oleander Aphids that often trouble milkweed in Southern California, but we would not rule out that it might also prey upon young Monarch caterpillars.  You mentioned attracting Monarch butterflies which will take nectar from many different flowers, however, the real benefit to growing milkweed in the garden is that it is the only plant upon which Monarch Caterpillars will feed.

Got it! Thank you so much for your help! Since they appear to be able to survive on other plants, we’re thinking we may pick some of them off and give them to neighbors who have an overabundance of aphids of their hands. You’ve been a great help!
Rose

Be careful Rose.  They will bite if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mummified spider that is alive
Location: Ontario
August 6, 2016 4:27 am
I unrolled my toilet paper and found a white still spider that looked like it was mumified. However when my husband went to see it began to move. Is this a local bug or has it been living in my toilet paper since the production plant?
Signature: Please help

Masked Hunter

Masked Hunter

This is not a mummified Spider.  It is a living predator.  Many of our submissions of Masked Hunters come from Ontario, so it is safe to say this is a local bug, though it was originally introduced from Europe.  Masked Hunters are predators that will help rid your home of unwanted critters like Bed Bugs and Cockroaches.  The immature Masked Hunter is sticky, and all manner of lint and debris adhere to the Masked Hunter, effectively camouflaging it in its environment.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination