The Armored Assassin

Jagged Ambush Bug

The Armored Assassin
Location: Mid-Missouri
October 29, 2010 9:34 pm
While I love all bugs, I think one of my favorite has to be the Ambush Bug. It is just a armored shell of terror. He sits hidden inside or behind a flower bloom waiting for his prey to land for their last sip of nectar. He emits a type of authority and force like I rarely see in the insect world. Sure, all Assassin Bugs are made up of terror to other insects, but to me, none give that incredible look of strength in the same way as the Ambush Bug. For me, this is as good as it gets and I feel fortunate to have had about half a dozen sightings of them this year..many times with prey in hand.
Here are 3 of my favorite pictures from the past couple months of my favorite assassin bug….if not my favorite bug, period.
My ID: Jagged Ambush Bug – Phymata fasciata (I’m certain on Phymata, fairly certain on Phymata fasciata).
Signature: Nathanael Siders

Ambush Bug feeds on Skipper

Hi Nathanael,
Thanks again for submitting some wonderful images as well as your first hand observations.  Ambush Bugs were originally classified in their own family, but recent years have seen a change in the taxonomy, and they are now a subfamily of the Assassin Bugs.  We agree that this is a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, though we do not feel qualified enough to determine the exact species as the members of the genus are all quite similar.  Can you recall the identity of the prey in your one photo?  It appears to be a Skipper butterfly.

Jagged Ambush Bug

You are correct, it was a skipper that became his meal.  I have also seen them eating syrphids a good bit around my house.

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One Response to Jagged Ambush Bug eats Skipper

  1. drswanny says:

    In Missouri, this is probably either Phymata fasciata or P. americana.

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