Currently viewing the category: "Ambush Bugs"
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.

Sue Dougherty, Jenny Roberts, Tonya Engel, Ann Levitsky, Erin Sullivan liked this post
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

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

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Subject: Insect with lime green diamond
Location: Houston Texas
June 6, 2014 6:50 pm
Sorry I just email you about this bug cause I thought my mom found it but it was found in Houston Texas, Not Western Nebraska.
Signature: Wick

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Hi Wick
While we were pretty certain that this is an Ambush Bug, we had not seen any examples in the past with this distinctive marking.  When we searched BugGuide, we learned that Ambush Bugs in the genus
Macrocephalus are characterized by this particular pattern.  While we have no shortage of Ambush Bug images on our site, we believe this is the first documentation we have of the genus Macrocephalus, at least that we have identified to that level.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination