Mating insects
Location:  Fannin County Texas
October 4, 2010 10:20 pm
Found these mating bugs on my gazebo.
They were fascinating, having a dorsal spiny shield reminding me of the stegosaurus dinosaurs. I haven’t seen them before. Size of the female is 4cm by estimate. What are they?
Signature:  Pacman in Texas

Mating Wheel Bugs

Dear Pacman,
You are not the first person who has written to us comparing the crest on the Wheel Bug,
Arilus cristatus, to the protective plates on a stegosaurus.  Your documentation of the mating process of North America’s largest Assassin Bug will be archived in our Bug Love section.  Wheel Bugs, like other Assassin Bugs, are predators and they should be welcomed into any organic garden, but gardener beware, because if they are carelessly handled, they are capable of biting with their piercing mouthparts.  After mating, the female will produce a cluster of barrel shaped eggs that will hatch into red and black numphs in the spring.  We have numerous images of freshly hatched Wheel Bugs on our site, but only a few of the mating process.

Mating Wheel Bugs

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