Subject: What’s this sunflower loving bug?
Geographic location of the bug: Phoenix, Arizona. USA
Time: 10:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This 6 legged bug likes sunflowers. Never seen this bug in my entire life. Black, red and yellow. Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed: Andrea ~
As soon as we read your submission, we suspected you encountered a Yellow Bellied Bee Assassin, Apiomerus flaviventris, and sure enough, you had. Bee Assassins are predatory Assassin Bugs and as their name implies, they favor pollinating insects including Bees, and they frequently wait on blooms like your sunflower for a meal to arrive. According to BugGuide: “This species exhibits a high level of polychromatism although in the United States the color pattern is fairly uniform.”