Currently viewing the category: "Ambush Bugs"
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Subject: Unknown bug in DC
Location: Washington, DC
March 8, 2014 8:54 am
Hi Bugman,
Can you help me with this bug? I found it last summer, in July, in my backyard, in NW DC. It was on my grill. It is really small and looks buggish but seems to have front legs that look like a mantis. Thank you so much for this site and your help.
Stephanie
Signature: Stephanie H.

Immature Ambush Bug

Immature Ambush Bug

Dear Stephanie,
This is an immature Ambush Bug, and it does use its raptorial front legs to capture prey much the same way that a Preying Mantis captures its prey.   Ambush Bugs were once classified in their own family, but new taxonomy has them identified as a subfamily of the Assassin Bugs.

Ambush Bugs

Ambush Bug Nymph

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dino-Sloth-Bug?
Location: Richmond, Virginia
July 28, 2013 5:20 pm
I noticed this bug about two weeks ago–possibly longer. I first took its picture with my phone a week ago today because the bug in question was so distinctive looking, kind of (in my eyes) like a miniature dinosaur–or at least, perhaps, a dinosaur-looking monster from a low budget 1950s sci-fi movie.
I took its picture again today–this time with a real camera–because, like some kind of sloth bug, it hasn’t moved from the same flower for over two weeks. That seems unusual to me.
In the first picture, note the white cocoon-like thing next to the bug.
Thanks for your help.
[This is a second submission; earlier today, the first submission, with larger image files, bogged down. If the first try actually went through and this is a repeat, I apologize for the unintended re-submission.]
Signature: E.W.

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Dear E.W.,
This effective predator is an Ambush Bug in the Assassin Bug subfamily Phymatinae.  It looks like this Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata that is posted on BugGuide.  Ambush Bugs often wait on blossoms to ambush their prey.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery Love Bugs
Location: Andover, NJ
June 5, 2013 10:59 am
Hoping you can identify these two happy little insects for me. I photographed them this morning on a wild daisy in Andover (northern) NJ. The daisy was about 1 1/2 inches across, which gives you an idea how tiny these little insects were – I couldn’t really make them out well with the naked eye. The daisy was trail-side near a lake.
Hope you can figure it out!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Mating Ambush Bugs

Mating Ambush Bugs

Hi Deborah,
We apologize for the delay.  We were on holiday and we are now trying to make a small dent in the 100s of identification requests that arrived during our absence from the office.  These are mating Ambush Bugs.  Ambush Bugs were once classified in their own family, but recent taxonomy has downgraded them to a subfamily, Phymatinae, of the Assassin Bugs.  Ambush Bugs frequently stalk their prey on the blossoms of flowers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Extra Pictures
Location: Concord Township Ohio
October 24, 2012 1:03 pm
I included 3 pictures. Found this little guy in July, northeastern Ohio.
Checked a ton of sites with no luck, any ideas?
Signature: Sean Mitchell

Ambush Bug

Hi Sean,
This stealth hunter is an Ambush Bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: 2 colors of mating ambush bugs
Location: Tonasket, WA
August 18, 2012 11:51 pm
Thanks to your awesome site, I was able to ID this couple quickly, even on dial-up! They must have really really good eyesight because they kept hiding in the Joe-Pye Weed every time I got them in my viewfinder. My husband took one look at the pictures and said, ” Look at the forearms, they have to be some sort of predator!”
Signature: Cathy

Mating Ambush Bugs

Hi Cathy,
We have two possible explanations for the discrepancy between the colors of these mating Ambush Bugs.  Ambush Bugs are masters of camouflage and they often match the colors of their surroundings.  Hemipterans are often much lighter in color just after metamorphosis.  It is possible the female just completed metamorphosis to an adult and her coloration has still not darkened.  Your photos are a wonderful addition to our Bug Love tag.

Mating Ambush Bugs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unusual insect – found in KY
Location: Louisville, KY
July 23, 2012 6:15 am
Dear Bugman,
I was out doing some macro photography at a local arboretum outside of Louisville, Ky. when I found this little critter hanging out on the side of a coneflower.
I have seen one like it before, only white, hiding on some purple milkweed but I have no idea what they are. Any ideas?
Signature: John S

Ambush Bug

Hi John,
This effective camouflage artist is an Ambush Bug, a predatory species that often waits on blossoms for prey.  The coloration of Ambush Bugs often closely matches the blossoms upon which it waits.  The blossoms on the milkweed you mentioned were most likely closer in coloration to the Ambush Bug that resided there.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination