Currently viewing the category: "Assassin Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  A colorful red, black, and white bug
Geographic location of the bug:  North Carolina
Date: 08/18/2018
Time: 11:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I found a very colorful dead insect the other day which I wasn’t able to identify (much to my chagrin, since it broke my bug-googling streak). I originally was thinking of it as a beetle, but as you can see, it doesn’t seem to have the wing-cases, just an ordinary pair of wings, overlapped on each other to boot. Any idea what this could be?
Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  A.

Bark Assassin Bug

Dear A,
We just finished posting an image of an even redder Bark Assassin Bug,
Microtomus purcis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  insect id
Geographic location of the bug:  Batesville, AR
Date: 08/19/2018
Time: 02:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A friend posted this photo on Facebook. Wonders what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Doesn’t matter

Bark Assassin Bug

The red color on your Bark Assassin Bug, Microtomus purcis, is much more pronounced than the more commonly seen white color variation.  This BugGuide image is of a red individual.  Beetles in the Bush calls it “North America’s most beautiful assassin bug” and also states:  “One would think such a conspicuously  marked assassin bug with a bite powerfully painful enough to back up its apparent warning coloration could brazenly venture out during the day with little to fear. To the contrary, this species seems best known for its habit of hiding under bark during the day and venturing out only at night, during which time it is sometimes attracted to lights (Slater & Baranowski 1978, Eaton & Kaufman 2007).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Ranch Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Fillmore Ca
Date: 08/20/2018
Time: 11:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was bit by this bug on Saturday at a wedding on a Ranch. Immediately after my head felt like it was on Fire. Today I woke up with a bump. Would like to identify it.
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth Morales

Assassin Bug

Dear Elizabeth,
We always advise readers to handle Assassin Bugs with caution as they might bite.  The bite of most Assassin Bugs results in local pain and swelling, but is not considered dangerous.  Your individual is
Rasahus hamatus, and it tends to bite more readily than other Assassin Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Weird 6 legged grey parasite creature
Geographic location of the bug:  Montreal, in my bedroom
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 11:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  It is around as big as a Canadian nickel. Very weird, looks like a parasite. It has 6 legs and two antennae on its little head. Grey and sorta fuzzy. I would like to know which species this is, and if it’s dangerous or not. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

Masked Hunter

Dear Michael,
The Masked Hunter is not a “parasite creature” but rather, a stealth predator.  Immature Masked Hunters have a sticky exoskeleton that attracts lint and other debris to effectively mask it to help it to blend in with its surroundings.  While not dangerous to humans, a Masked Hunter might bite if it is carelessly handled.  Masked Hunters have adapted quite well to cohabitating with humans, and it will help to control Cockroaches and other unwanted household pests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identity
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 06:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this katydid nymph? (on Cannabis leaf).
How you want your letter signed:  Mel Frank

Leafhopper Assassin Bug nymph

Hi Mel,
This is much better than a Katydid nymph.  It is a predatory Assassin Bug nymph, and we identified it as a Leafhopper Assassin Bug nymph,
Zelus renardii, thanks to these images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Generalist predator (despite its common name suggesting host specificity).”  It is also pictured on the Natural History of Orange County site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Blood sucking insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Arizona,  USA
Date: 08/12/2018
Time: 08:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,  these have been in my bed twice! Both times I squished them blood came out. Found a few more in a cardboard box under the bed. We don’t have welts like bed bugs, not even bits. Have a cat that likes it under the bed and she may have bits, I’m not sure. They were fast callers l crawlers too, but disintegrate when squished.
How you want your letter signed:  Eager Entomologist in Training

Kissing Bug nymphs

Dear Eager Entomologist in Training,
We have bad news for you.  These are Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug nymphs or Kissing Bug nymphs in the genus
Triatoma, and they have been in the news frequently lately because they are vectors for the spreading of Chagas Disease.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  According to BugGuide:  “Bite can cause severe allergic reaction in humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The North American species can carry the parasite but they do not normally defecate at the site of bite, and thus rarely transmit the disease (Vetter 2001). Rare vector-borne cases of Chagas occur in the so. US (CDC 2013).”  The fact that you have captured so many nymphs in your home likely means an adult female Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug of reproductive age is also present.

Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug nymphs

Dear Daniel,
Holy crud!!! I had a feeling it was those but didn’t want to believe it. About this reproductive female…. what the heck do I do to get her and these gone!?!?

Dear (we hope still) Eager Entomologist in Training,
We do not provide extermination advice, but in this case, considering your infestation, you might want to seek professional assistance.  Let any contractors you contact know that you know exactly what you have so they treat the situation appropriately.

Thank you so much! Isn’t there someone i should be contacting about this finding? I’ve read somewhere they track instances of these bugs and collect specimens. And my passion for insects couldn’t be crushed by this. I’m wiser and nonetheless curious!

You can start with the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Thank you! You rock!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination