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

Subject:  Spikey wasp? Coral caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Bolivia, Ascensión de Guarayos and Trinidad
Date: 12/13/2019
Time: 05:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman. I have spent the last year working at an animal sanctuary in the Bolivian jungle which means I encounter a huge amount of strange insects daily. These two particularly caught my attention and would love to know what they are. Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Chris

Assassin Bug:  Zelurus festivus

Dear Chris,
What you have mistaken for a “spikey wasp” is actually a stunning looking Assassin Bug, but we have not had any luck with a species identification.  We can assure you that this is NOT a Blood-sucking Conenose Bug or Kissing Bug from the subfamily Triatominae, a group known to spread Chagas Disease.  Many Assassin Bugs will deliver a painful bite if provoked or carelessly handled, but except for the Kissing Bugs, Assassin Bugs do not pose a threat to humans.  This individual is a very effective wasp mimic.  Perhaps Cesar Crash from Insetolgia will recognize it.  We will attempt to identify your Caterpillar at a later time.

Assassin Bug:  Zelurus festivus

Update: December 20, 2019
Thanks to Cesar Crash and Brandon Thorpe submitting comments, we now know this is
Zelurus festivus.  There are also images on iNaturalist and Discover Life.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Very odd looking bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Council Bluffs, IA
Date: 11/26/2019
Time: 11:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy on my front door mid last summer. I’m getting better at identifying, but this one has me stumped..
How you want your letter signed:  Wendy Starrett

Spined Assassin Bug

Dear Wendy,
This is a predatory Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae, and we believe it is a Spined Assassin Bug in the genus
Sinea, possibly Sinea diadema which is pictured on BugGuide.  The folded antennae are quite unusual.  We will attempt to get a second opinion.

Eric Eaton Confirms:
Yes, Sinea sp. in typical “you can’t see me, I’m dried-up foliage” pose.  LOL! …
Eric

I appreciate your reply! After a little searching of images of Sinea diadema I tend to agree. Some of the photos I saw showed partially folded antennae.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Panama
Date: 11/14/2019
Time: 07:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this bug in El Valle..700m
Thanks for any comments
How you want your letter signed:  Jerry Harrison

Bee Assassin

Dear Jerry,
This is a predatory Assassin Bug and it sure looks to us like a member of the genus
Apiomeris, the Bee Assassins.  We found a FlickR posting that looks exactly like your individual and it is identified as possibly Apiomeris hirtipes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Harrisonburg, VA
Date: 11/07/2019
Time: 02:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This creepy crawler landed on my son-in-law while we were at the winery. It was so interesting I snapped a photo. But! I can’t figure out what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Paula

Wheel Bug

Dear Paula,
Your son-in-law encountered a Wheel Bug, the largest, predatory Assassin Bug in North America.  Though many Assassin Bugs will bite if provoked or if they feel threatened, and though the bite might be painful, Wheel Bugs are reluctant to bite humans and the bite is not considered dangerous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wheel Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Rutherford County, Middle Tennessee
Date: 10/02/2019
Time: 08:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This year marks my first signing of a living wheel bug, which is very exciting!! Unfortunately, I’ve also found more dead wheel bugs than I’ve seen in my entire life. Do you know if they naturally die after mating/laying eggs or if perhaps the unusual heat is getting them? I’ve been finding them upside down on sidewalks, so I figure they could be overheating there.
How you want your letter signed:  Josie

Wheel Bug

Dear Josie,
Thanks for sending in your image of a Wheel Bug.  Wheel Bugs only survive for one season, and most are probably killed by the first major frost of the year.  We don’t know why you are finding so many dead Wheel Bugs at this time.  We do not believe the heat is a factor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Odd Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Mass
Date: 09/23/2019
Time: 06:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  No one I’ve asked remembers ever seeing a bug like this before, even the horticulturally inclined. Seen on Sept 10th
How you want your letter signed:  Curiouser and curiouser

Immature Sycamore Assassin Bug

Dear Curiouser and curiouser,
This is an immature Sycamore Assassin Bug, a beneficial predator in the garden.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination