Subject: can you help me identify
Location: Berkeley Springs, WV
October 16, 2012 8:15 pm
Hi I live in WV and found this guy hanging out on my back porch he was there all day, and i can honestly say that none of my family or friends or myself have ever seen one. If yyou could help me out with some info on this guy i would appreciate it. Thanks
Signature: Ian Lawyer
Though we try to make several new postings daily, we only post a fraction of the identification requests we receive. We are unable to even respond to many of the requests we receive, though we try our best. Many submissions just get a quick ID without becoming a posting, and we have identified numerous unposted Wheel Bugs, Arilus cristatus, in the past few weeks. Your photo is quite exceptional, so we decided to post your letter. Wheel Bugs are the largest Assassin Bugs in North America. Though Wheel Bugs move in a docile manner, they should be handled with caution since many Assassin Bugs will bite if provoked and the bite can be quite painful. Wheel Bugs use their piercing mouthparts to jab their prey and they suck out the fluids for nourishment. They are quite capable of piercing human skin, however they are not aggressive towards humans. The unique coglike “wheel” on the thorax is structurally unique among North American Assassin Bugs and it probably serves to make them difficult to swallow by birds or other insectivores.