Stinging Beetle or Wasp?
Location: Central Oklahoma
March 30, 2012 10:52 pm
A friend of mine was just bitten on the hand by the bug in the picture. It was in her house, and as she was trying to shoo it out, it got her. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the attack. Any idea what it is? Her hand is swelling somewhat rapidly… :/
This insect appears to be a Black Corsair, and it is neither a wasp nor a beetle, nor did your friend get stung. Black Corsairs are Assassin Bugs and they are predators equipped with piercing mouthparts for sucking fluids from their prey. Many Assassin Bugs will bite if carelessly handled. The best way to remove an unknown insect from the house is to trap it in a glass. Stemware like a martini glass works very well. Then slip a postcard under the rim and transport the insect outside. Many folks who are bitten by Assassin Bugs, spiders and other creatures succumb to the impulse to swat at a creature that they find crawling on them. That will often result in the person getting bitten. It is better to try to blow the creature off or to shake it off without applying any pressure. Unless you friend is undergoing a severe allergic reaction, the bite effects should not last more than a few hours. While we understand the impulse to kill a creature that has just bitten someone, we feel compelled to tag this letter as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope our tips will help you, your friend and our general readership to deal with accidental visitors that are sometimes capable of stinging or biting. The Black Corsair, like most Assassin Bugs, is considered beneficial predators. An exception would be the Kissing Bugs or Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma since they will bite humans to feed on blood if there is no other warm blooded prey available.