November 2, 2009
This is a bug I see about once a year, although it’s probably common. My parents’ generation calls it a “wheelbarrow” bug because of the wheel-like appendage on it’s back. But, I’d like to know what it’s real name is. My aunt said it was odd to see one this late in the year, but we haven’t had a freeze yet. This bug was crawling on the swing, and it would watch me as I tried to get in close to photograph it, and turn to face me. It was not a fast-moving creature (as bugs go). It’s most unusual feature is the thin gear- or wheel-like appendage on the creature’s back that is visible when viewed from the side. It is grey and black in color, and about 3.5 cm in length.
Carter County, Oklahoma, USA
Though we have not heard the common name Wheelbarrow Bug, we like it. The common name for this large Assassin Bug, Arulus cristatus, is Wheel Bug. Since it only has one “wheel” like a wheelbarrow, we find your name to be most appropriate. Like other Assassin Bugs, Wheel Bugs might bite if carelessly handled.