Subject: Milkweed Assassin Bug on Milkweed?
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 27, 2013 3:37 pm
I went in search of wildflower photo ops today, and also found some interesting insects. Is this a milkweed assassin bug on the milkweed? I took its red coloration, bright patterns, and Sumo-wrestler stance as warnings, and kept my distance. Good old zoom lens 😉
Thank you for any help in identifying this insect. I couldn’t seem to spot an exact match: http://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=milkweed+assassin+bug
Signature: Ellen

Bee Assassin

Bee Assassin

Subject: Part II of Possible Milkweed Assassin on Milkweed
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 28, 2013 12:28 am
After looking at your ”assassin” archives, I’m beginning to think that the possible assassin bug I photographed yesterday may be a Bee Assassin, possibly a Yellow Bellied Bee Assassin, although it has a striped belly. I’m attaching a photo that shows the belly.
After reading through your archives and seeing how often your readers have received painful bites from assassin bugs, I’m extraordinarily thankful that I kept my distance from the handsome creature.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Bee Assassin

Bee Assassin

Dear Ellen,
We are very happy that you correctly identified this Bee Assassin in the genus
Apiomerus.  We do not believe that it is a Yellow Bellied Bee Assassin, Apiomerus flaviventris, as the species is only reported from Arizona and California as well as Mexico according to BugGuide.  It looks to us like a Bee Assassin, Apiomerus spissipes, and you can compare images on BugGuide which look very much like your individual.

Bee Assassin

Bee Assassin

Subject: Part III Possible Milkweed Assassin Bug on Milkweed?
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 28, 2013 9:07 am
Well, it looks like I’m zero for two on this one. Although this red insect was near the milkweed, it looks upon further review as though it’s actually on a Texas primrose. Attached is a blurry image of the insect as it flies to another plant, primrose in the background. Sorry, and it’s a good thing I’m not trying to make a living as a field biologist, eh? Here’s a link to the Texas primrose, a very beautiful wildflower. http://paintedflowerfarm.com/pages/plants/natives/primrose,texas.htm
Signature: Ellen

Bee Assassin near Texas Primrose

Bee Assassin near Texas Primrose

Don’t be so hard on yourself Ellen.  You did eventually correctly identify the Bee Assassin.

Location: Coryell County, Texas

One Response to Bee Assassin

  1. drswanny says:

    You are correct that this is Apiomerus spissipes.

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