Subject: monkey bug?
Location: sampson county nc
June 4, 2012 1:43 pm
This bug doesn’t fly and it has no stinger that I could see anyway but it bit my mothervon her hand And left a big blood blister her hand was swollen. Down here the older people call it a monkeybug
We are very amused to learn that the common name Monkey Bug is used in your local area to describe the Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus. Your individual is an immature nymph, and when it matures into North Americas largest Assassin Bug, it will have a coglike structure on its thorax that leads to the common name Wheel Bug. The structure probably makes it difficult for birds or other predators to swallow it. We wonder what the origin of the name Monkey Bug is. As you noted, Wheel Bugs as well as other Assassin Bugs will bite if carelessly handled. Another insect common in the South is the Hag Moth Caterpillar or Monkey Slug. We wonder if there was perhaps some confluence of names since the Monkey Slug is capable of producing a nasty sting if it is carelessly handled. We are postdating your letter to go live in about a week as we will be away from the office and we would like to continue our routine of daily postings.