Subject: Cockroach? Cricket? Bedbug?
Location: Southeastern Wisconsin, US
February 24, 2013 2:18 pm
Hi bugman! I found this creature in plain sight in an upstairs room of my house. It wasn’t moving when I spotted it (and I killed it shortly thereafter), so I’m not sure if it crawls or jumps. It does appear to have two small leathery brown wings, but it doesn’t seem like they would be big enough to fly with. At first I thought it was a cricket, but the back legs don’t have that typical thickness. Then I thought it might be a cockroach, but it doesn’t look like any I’ve ever seen. The underside of its abdomen is yellowish in color and ”tented” in shape, with three spots down the middle. The topside of the bug is flat– almost concave– similar to a bedbug (which I dearly hope its not!!!). The bug was also covered in a gray dusty substance when I found it — my husband thinks the stuff is ”scales” of some sort, but I think the bug just might have emerged from a dusty area. Any help you could provid e would greatly put my mind at ease! Thanks so much.
This is an immature, predatory Assassin Bug known as a Masked Hunter, a common name it got because its sticky exoskeleton attracts dust and helps to camouflage it. They might bite if carelessly handled, but they will also prey upon cockroaches, bed bugs and other unwanted insects in the home.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply! By sleuthing around a bit on your site after submitting my question, I actually had already come to the conclusion that this mystery bug was, indeed, a Masked Hunter. (And here I thought the bit about this bug looking “dusty” was incidental…) What a great resource you’ve created. Cheers!