Currently viewing the category: "Ambush Bugs"
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Subject: Wanting bug ID
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
July 12, 2016 10:10 am
I was at my son’s BMX practice when I looked down at my arm and saw this little guy. He didn’t seem to fall into any major category, so I got a couple of shots with him. The pronounced bright green claw-like appendages got my attention. It was a park-like setting with large pines around. He stayed with me for quite a while as he seemed intent to stay where he was. The fabric is a t-shirt; between that an the hairs on my arm, you should be able to get a sense of scale—maybe not much more than a quarter inch long, and almost as wide. Any clues?
Signature: P. J. Orlando

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Dear P.J.,
This is an Ambush Bug in the subfamily Phymatinae, and it is most likely a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, a group that according to BugGuide:  “Typically wait for prey on vegetation, especially flowers.”  Of the genus Phymata, BugGuide notes:  “Coupling may involve several males riding around on a single female. Sometimes it allows them to take down larger prey, although coupling individuals have been found each with their own prey as well. Mating occurs with the male mounted on the side of the female.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Any idea of what this insect is?
Location: Chicago Illinois
October 10, 2015 2:38 pm
I was in my garden just this past Thursday, October 7th. I live in Chicago, Illinois and was deadheading flowers and saw this insect at the base of an empty seed pod dried up dill. At first I thought it was a tiny leaf stuck at the bottom but after a while, It had crawled up one of the stems and I was mystified. I am sending several views. This is 1/4″ long, so very tiny, but larger than any aphid I have ever seen, plus the look of wings from the top really makes it look like something else. I have sent an inquiry to the Chicago Botanic Garden but they have not responded Maybe I stumped them?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Signature: Janet Green

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Dear Janet,
This Ambush Bug is a beneficial predator that is not uncommon, but they are often overlooked because they are such excellent camouflage artists.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What the heck is this
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
August 9, 2015 3:54 pm
My friend was out for a walk and felt something on her neck. When she brushed it away, it bit her.
What the heck is it?
Signature: Ken

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Dear Ken,
This is a predatory Jagged Ambush Bug, and like most other Assassin Bugs, it might bite if carelessly handled, but the bite is not considered dangerous.  The best way to remove an insect that might bite or sting if it is found crawling on a person is to gently blow it off with a strong exhalation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Colorado bee eater
Location: Front range colorado
August 7, 2015 6:17 pm
Hi. We were loving this flowering bush and so were the honeybees. Unfortunately tonight we noticed lots of dead bees and lots of these insects- can’t find them online anywhere! They blend right in- look like dried up flowers.
Signature: Bonnie

Ambush Bug eats Honeybee

Ambush Bug eats Honeybee

Dear Bonnie,
When we first saw your subject line, we thought you were submitting images of one of the large, predatory Robber Flies in the genus
Mallophora, possibly the Belzebul Bee Eater.  Your Food Chain image is just as exciting.  This is an Ambush Bug in the genus Phymata, probably a Jagged Ambush Bug.

Thank you, Daniel.  Very cool!  Feel bad for the bees though 😉

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth Eating Bug ID
Location: Florida
September 24, 2014 6:28 am
I discovered this small insect that apparently was eating a moth tucked under a wildflower. Would love to know what it is!
Thank you!
Signature: Laura Hayes

Ambush Bug eats Skipper

Ambush Bug eats Skipper

Hi Laura,
The predator is a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, and the prey is a butterfly known as a Skipper, not a moth.  Ambush Bugs frequently await prey while camouflaged on blossoms.  Your images are wonderful, both the action image and the excellent use of scale.

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bu

Thank you for the prompt reply and solving my mystery. I knew that was a Skipper! I still want to think of them as moths and forget.
Laura Hayes

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