What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange/Black Beetle/Hornet ? NSW
Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 3:57 PM
My husband found this bug under his sleeve driving it’s spike into his arm yesterday. It got 4 stings in before it wore a size 9 dunlop volley.
Apparently it packed quite a punch, his arm still red/swollen/itchy 24hrs later. Just curious what bug this is? Doesn’t appear to have wings! Looks like a cross between a hornet & a beetle type bug.
Newcastle NSW Australia
Shell
Newcastle NSW Australia

Ground Assassin Bug

Ground Assassin Bug

Hi Shell,
A little bit of research revealed that this is a female Ground Assassin Bug, Ectomocoris decoratus, which we located on the Geocities Website of Brisbane Insects.  Males of the species are winged and fly while the females are winged.  Interestingly, we found some of the same photos and illustrations on a Brisbane Insects website with a different URL, but the species was listed as Ectomocoris patricius.  We also found a PDF online that states:  “Several other assassin bugs bite people in Queensland. … Ectomocoris decoratus, a fast-moving species with winged males and wingless females, is strikingly coloured in blue-black and orange.  It occurs under loose bark and may be encountered when gardening or clearing vegetation.  Because of its colour and speed, victims of this assassin bug often believe they were stung by a wasp.”  We are not exactly sure what a size 9 dunlop volley is, but it sound like it contributed to the squashing evident in your photos.  Assassin Bugs, except for a few blood sucking species, are thought of as beneficial predators, so we feel compelled to also tag your posting under Unnecessary Carnage.

Ground Assassin Bug

Ground Assassin Bug

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

5 Responses to Ground Assassin Bug from Australia

  1. kipouros says:

    Unnecessary? Now that’s being a bit harsh isn’t it? 😉 I don’t like to kill unnecessarily (my housemate thinks I’m nuts when I scoop up scorpions and release them into the garden) but if I was getting bitten by something that felt like a wasp, I think I’d do just about anything to be rid of it! Perhaps an “2nd-degree bugslaughter” subcategory? 😀 I love your site!

  2. vampie says:

    I agree. I try to be tolerant, but if I were being stung or bitten it would be an immediate reaction to end the stinging/biting and prevent future attack. I vote for second degree bug slaughter in self defense.

  3. drswanny says:

    Certainly a species of Ectomocoris, although there may be several that look like this. I think E. patricius is a better match.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Silly folks, killing the insect that bit you is unnecessary because the insect that bit you was almost certainly doing so in an effort to save its own life. If you truly care about all life—large and small—take the bite/sting you likely deserve for being ignorant and let the little ones go. It’s not like killing them let’s them know they did something they shouldn’t have. If you can’t understand that, you’re not as tolerant as you think you are. Just because you get a little sting that goes away doesn’t mean killing the thing that bit you is justified.

    Hell, even if you get your leg bitten off by a shark, it’s your own fault for being in its domain—to kill the shark would be pointless, as it’s only doing exactly what it was designed to do: swim and eat.

  5. Joe says:

    Next time I feel a sting ill be shure to sit politey and endure the pain my arrogant self deserves 👍👌

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