What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Coryell County, Texas

One Response to Bee Assassin

  1. drswanny says:

    You are correct that this is Apiomerus spissipes.

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