Currently viewing the category: "Assassin Bugs"
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I saw this bug
Hi there, I am originally from Argentina but I live in Texas now. Today I found this bug that in Argentina we call "vinchuca" and transmit a disease called "chagas" is a very bad disease. Someone told me that is a inoffensive beetle but it looks like the vinchuca (or kissing bug). The picture is not very good because I was scared. Can you tell me what it is?
Thank you

Hi Adriana,
We also have a Kissing Bug that transmits Chagas Disease, but your photo looks like a Wheel Bug, one of the Assassin Bugs. It is difficult to be certain based on your photo, but the distinguishing feature is the coglike “wheel” on the thorax. Wheel Bugs are related to Kissing Bugs, and both are true bugs, or Hemipterans. Wheel Bugs are not known to be disease vectors, but they can bite painfully if mishandled. They are beneficial since they destroy many garden pests.

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Loud Flyer
Hello Bugman!
I was in Eastern PA this weekend on top of a mountain in Kempton, PA. While admiring the sites, this loud buzzing went very slowly past my ear. When I looked, there was this bug about an inch or so flying by. Its abdomen hung while it flew but managed to land on the side of a tree near me. I was able to get this photo before it continued on its way. Note that the ridge on its back does run from head to tail and not side to side.. Any help in identifying is appreciated!

Hi Jim,
Great photo of a Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, a member of the Assasin Bug Family Reduviidae. These large true bugs can be recognized by the cog like wheel on their backs. They are friends of gardeners since they eagerly feed on many garden pests, like the caterpillar you put in the jar. Those sucking mouthparts can deliver a painful bite if the bug is carelessly handled.

Incredible website… Now knowing it was an assassin bug, I looked through the assassin bug section of your site to get more information. What a remarkable species! Thank you so much for the work you do!

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What is this bug?
I am glad I found your site and think this bug looks similar to the Western Conifer Seed Bug. Because of the shadow, you can see the ridged shoulder. Can you help us?
The Choe Family

Dear Choe Family,
Yours is the second fabulous Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, photo we received today. The Wheel Bug is a type of Assassin Bug. It is predatory on insects, but is capable of giving a person a painful bite if mishandled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Nasty Little Bug!
Dear What’s that Bug,
I don’t know what this little rascal is, but this afternoon I picked up my dog to bring her inside and all of a sudden I felt this incredible pain on my little finger. The pain was worse than a wasp sting or any fire ant bite I have ever had. Maybe I am just a wus, but damn it hurt. I have tried to find the bug all over the web but was not able to locate it. I have never seen one before. The pictures are not to good since I took the pain out on him/her. It has six legs with two tentacles. It has an almost transparent orange body. I think the stinger is in its tail, because when I flicked it off of the dog and on to the floor it poised itself like a scorpion. By the way I am from NW Florida area. If you could give me some insight as to what he heck this little booger is.
Thank you,

Hi Jason,
You were bitten by an Assassin Bug nymph, and though the bite is nasty, they are beneficial to gardeners because of the vast numbers of pests they kill.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

and the 2nd pic…what is this creapy looking guy ? an assasin bug ?

Your blurry photo is of a Wheel Bug, a type of Assassin Bug.

(09/11/2004) better pics of my blurry bug

Thanks so much Patrick. Now our readers will be able to identify their own Wheel Bugs. Your photo shows off the cog-like crest nicely.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello folks.
First, let me thank you for your excellent site. I had found a strange little critter in my home office and wondered what it might be. I found it on your site after many others had let me down. It turns out to be a Masked Hunter". Quite the strange little critter. I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some of the photos I’ve taken of both that "masked hunter" and a solfugid which was out on a parking lot near my office.
Here’s the link.
Mostly these photos have been another excuse to play with my digital camera, and the originals of many are in higher resolution than that shown on the site. If you have any use for some of these photos, just let me know.
Thanks again for your informative site.
Jim Harrison

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the photos as well as the advertisement on your site. The story on your site about finding the Masked Hunter on the roll of toilet paper is quite amusing. Sadly, we are currently down, yet again, due to heavy traffic. We will post your photos and letter as soon as September arrives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination