Subject: Costa Rican Bug
Location: Drake Bay, Costa Rica
September 2, 2012 9:25 pm
You guys are the best! We can spend hours at a time on your site. We found this cool bug while hiking in Drake Bay, Costa Rica. It was just on the ground on top of some leaves. I can’t seem to identify it. Can you please tell me what it is?
Signature: Jennifer and Bella
Hi again Jennifer and Bella,
We were immediately certain that this insect is an Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae, and though our initial web search turned up numerous matching images, we could not get a species identification. The red flags at the tail end are quite distinctive. Finally, we found a matching photo on FlickR that identified this Assassin Bug as a Bee Killer, Apiomerus vexillarius. Discover Lifehas a matching image of a mounted specimen that confirms the species identification. The Bee Killer Assassin Bugs often prey upon bees and other members in the order Hymenoptera. Your individual appears to be preying upon an Ant. Assassin Bugs should be handled with caution as they can deliver a painful bite.