Mystery Bug!
May 28, 2010
Spotted on May 28, 2010! This little mystery bug was spotted on my cat’s water bowl outside! I love bugs, but i’ve never seen this insect before. His abdomen is upturned in a strange fashion and is bright red. Tried to google its description for identification but failed. Thanks for your help!!!
Becca Hatfield
Beaufort, Missouri

Wheel Bug Nymph

Hi Becca,
This is an immature Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, the largest species of Assassin Bug in North America.  The hatchlings are found in close proximity to the cluster of barrel shaped eggs that are laid in regular rows in a hexagon shaped cluster, but after they molt, they become solitary hunters.  Adult Wheel Bugs have a crest on the back that looks like a wheel cog, hence the common name.  Readers often claim that the Wheel Bug looks prehistoric, and it has been compared to a stegosaurus.

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