BUG OF THE MONTH MARCH 2009: Masked Hunter

Little fat dirty bug
Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM
I found this on my front porch. It was skittish, sluggish runner, but not exactly slow. I have seen one other of these, and they cover themselves with dirt, sand, and look moldy & or dirty!
It’s new to me, I don’t even know what category to look under, it’s not a beetle, has no wings, etc. I am very interested in knowing what it is!
Lisa Gerard
Billings, MT

Immature Masked Hunter
Immature Masked Hunter

Hi Lisa,
This is an immature Masked Hunter, Reduvius personatus. It is interesting that you mention the insect being fat because if does look fatter than most specimens we receive, however it is a very close match to one image posted to BugGuide. We are not used to seeing them covered in sand as most specimens sent to us for identification are found indoors and they are covered in lint. According to BugGuide: “Nymphs cover themselves with dust, lint, sand, and other debris – which usually matches the color of their immediate surroundings and makes the nymphs difficult to detect” and “the sticky body surface of the nymph accumulates a coating of dust, lint, sand, etcetera, which masks the presence of the predatory nymph .” Masked Hunters feed on a variety of insects. They are Assassin Bugs and will inflict a painful bite if mishandled, but they are not aggressive. We are happy to inform you that your letter and photo will be featured all month as our Bug of the Month for March 2009.

Immature Masked Hunter
Immature Masked Hunter


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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

2 thoughts on “BUG OF THE MONTH MARCH 2009: Masked Hunter”

  1. My children found a bug they had never seen this morning in our house after a rain storm. We thought our bug seemed unique because it looked like a true bug but it was “hairy”. We looked on your website and there it was- the bug of the month. It was not hairy it was covered with dust and link. Thanks

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  2. I found this bug a few days ago and I named it the Bug that never dies, because it looked thousands of years old, like from Indiana Jones, but still alive. Or the Zombie Bug, or Pharaoh’s Beetle. It was in an old boarded up window. I guess I have bed bugs in my window, so I will avoid sleeping in the window!

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