What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange Morph Bug
Location: Lebanon, PA
July 10, 2013 4:33 am
I may have been mistaken, but this bug started out way smaller, black legs. Reminded me of a spider with bent up legs. I don’t know a lot about bugs, and I run from them screaming. I live in a house in Lebanon, PA. The area is woods, and the Tulip Popler is the most common tree around here.
Thank you, screaming-like-a-little-girl
Signature: Chris

Assassin Bug Metamorphosis

Assassin Bug Metamorphosis

Hi Chris,
Your photograph has captured an Assassin Bug in the process of metamorphosis.  We believe it is a Wheel Bug.  Many insects change color and darken after metamorphosis.  This Wheel Bug numph should turn dark gray.

That makes absolute sense. The Wheel-bug is common, here, in its horrifying beauty, with the cog-wheel. Since I have been running away from its adult form, I was unfamiliar with its pre-morph stage(s).
I saw the bug the evening before, and it hadn’t moved until morning hours. Then I saw something orange popping out of his back which reminded me of wings (an indicator of having my eye-sight checked) and then what looked like an orange spider on the back of the bug. For a suburban guy who moved into the wilderness, I have been introduced to the most intriguing insect-life. This includes red wasps, blue-iridescent-winged and black neon-yellow-striped thorax wasps (of which I will most certainly NOT have pictures), Luna-moth and other.
Again, thank you very much for your very fast response.

Dear Chris,
Thank you for supplying our readers with a colorful description of the metamorphosis of a Wheel Bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

2 Responses to Assassin Bug Metamorphosis

  1. Kelsea says:

    I saw this very same bug. I live in Western Washington by the ocean. This bug looked EXACTLY like this. But, the grey backside was actually a second bug, I believe they were mating. I’d really like to know what type of bug this is, does the fact that they were two bugs change your theory in species?

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