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

Nature’s can-opener?
Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 5:23 PM
Greetings!
This creature found me in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, USA. He (or she) is about 1.5 inches long. He was pretty slow moving on the 70-degree-F day that I found him. He had very little interest in flying away or using his bayonet-like member on his forehead against me. I picked him up using a piece of bark and moved him away from the front door, where he is less likely to get tangled up with my 9-week-old boxer puppy who runs around the house and yard like PacMan, gobbling up anything and everything.
Thanks for your help!
Greg
South-Eastern Pennsylvania, USA

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Hi Greg,
We love your subject line. We didn’t even have to view your photo to know you had a Wheel Bug. Observing that a Wheel Bug resembles a can opener is awesome.  Wheel Bugs are Assassin Bugs and they will bite if provoked.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beetles, I think…
Hi!
All 61 pages of beetles on your amazing site have been viewed to no avail. Thought I had one of these beetles (they are beetles, right?) identified on BugGuide but, alas, no. The first, the long solid black one with the chunky hind legs, was moving very quickly on the front porch wall one day last summer. The other, the black and red one was quite a pest this last spring. I saw, felt, three of them inside my house which was built of rough-cut pine from the trees off the land here in the Great Smoky Mountains. By pest I mean that it lets you know it’s there by nipping, not tickling as most bugs seem to do, but leaves no mark. Each, in turn, was escorted outside, unceremoniously. Any ideas? I’d love to be able to name them properly.
Thank you,
R.G. Marion
East Tennessee

Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug

Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug

Hi R.G.,
You couldn’t locate the Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug on our beetle pages since it is an Assassin Bug. The black and red pattern is quite distinctive. According to BugGuide, the Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug, Triatoma sanguisuga, is also called the Big Bed Bug or Mexican Bed Bug. It normally feeds on “Blood of mammals, especially Eastern Wood Rat, Neotoma floridana . Also feeds on bed bugs and other insects. Feeds at night.” Also regarding its habitat: “Natural habitat is nests of small mammals. Sometimes invades houses.” BugGuide also notes that it “Sometimes bites humans, and the bite may be severe, causing an allergic reaction ” but there is no mention of Chagas Disease which is spread by the related Western Conenose Bug. Chagas Disease is primarily a problem in tropical climates. We are still working on an identification for the other insect you sent in.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this Bug
My 8 year old found this on the back porch and was wondering what kind of bug it is. Note the spiny appendage on his back that I thought would make it easy to identify, but haven’t been able to find anything in the reference materials so far.
Ben
Eastern Missouri

Wheel Bug in a Pot

Wheel Bug in a Pot

Hi Ben,
If that is the 5 quart pasta pot, that has to be the biggest Wheel Bug on record. Handle with care as Wheel Bugs can deliver a painful bite. Seriously, what kind of pot is that in your photo, which we find terribly amusing, and perhaps our favorite Wheel Bug photo ever.

Thanks very much for the information.  Didn’t know they bite, so glad we asked.  No, it’s certainly not a 5 quart pasta pot.  Actually, the photo was very close-up and the “pot” is actually a doll-sized toy (probably 12 – 16 oz).  I would estimate the bug was 2.5″ to 3″ in length.  Thanks again,
DLM

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this related to a Squash Bug?
I’ve seen this bug in large numbers around my vegetable garden near Dallas Texas. They often congregate in the sunflowers and are proficient fliers. They look similar to and I thought related to a squash bug. Thinking that I figured they were harmful to my veggies, so I would mash one whenever I got the chance. Until I saw this one. Seems to be quite helpful as he’s eating one of the worms on this ear of corn. But what is it?
Near Dallas, TX
Jerry D. Coombs, Wylie, TX

Wheel Bug eats Caterpillar

Wheel Bug eats Caterpillar

Hi Jerry,
Your predator is a Wheel Bug, and its resemblance to a Squash Bug is because the two are in the same insect order, but they are not closely related as they are in different families.  The Wheel Bug is in the Assassin Bug family.  We are pleased to add you photo to our food page section.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

pic of some Emesinae assassin bugs mating
Not sure of what the exact species is, but its in Emesinae I’m sure. Found it while out camping Red River Gorge in Kentucky. I run an indoor butterfly garden in NY state, so if you ever would like help IDing some of the random tropical butterflies, let me know, I’d be glad to help you. Thanks,
Tad Yankoski
Entomologist
Strong National Museum of Play
www.museumofplay.org
tyankoski@museumofplay.org

Hi Tad,
If you are unsure what species these mating Thread-Legged Assassin Bugs are, we aren’t even going to venture a guess. The photo sure is a jumble of thread legs. Perhaps we will take you up on your tropical butterfly identification offer next time we are in a bind.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug help….
Hello,
A few months ago by using your website I was able to identify a mysterious bug I had never seen before sitting on my basil planter outside as a nymph wheel bug. Well, here we are a month or so later without having seen the wheel bug and we walk outside and find the now “adult” wheel bug sitting out on our deck right before we watched it get attacked and killed by a (European hornet?). Please identify the bug attacking the wheel bug in the attached picture. Thanks for your help!!!
B&D
Sellersville, PA

Dear B & D,
Your identification of a European Hornet, Vespa crabro, attacking a Wheel Bug is correct. According to BugGuide, the European Hornet is : “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young. … The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination