Currently viewing the category: "Assassin Bugs"
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Assassin bug?
Hi, I live in Gaithersburg, Maryland and I’ve been seeing these bugs on my deck over the last month or so. I’m curious to find out about the because I keep finding them on my children. I want to know if they bite and what kind of bite they will get (swelling like a mosquito bite?). I saw a picture on this site that was similar. It was identified as a Wheel Bug Nymph, but all the pictures that I see elsewhere on the internet of the wheel bug, look very different. Could these be VERY immature wheel bugs? Whatever info you could give would be much appreciated.

Hi Kelly,
This is most assuredly an immature Assassin Bug, most probably a Wheel Bug. The wingless nymphs have a distinctive red abdomen, and it is not until they mature into winged adults that the characteristic cog-like wheel attains its magnificence. The scientific name for the Wheel Bug is Arilus cristatus. All we know about the bite is that it is reputed to be painful, but not dangerous.

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What is this thing?
FOund this after taking the photo of the flowers. A granddaddy long legs was a few inches from it. Have never seen one before. Whis the picture was better, but didn’t know it was there. I SAw it one other time on the fence and it was gone after I got the camera. Any info would be heplful. Thanks

Hi Craig,
You have sent in a photograph of an Assassin Bug nymph, probably an immature Wheel Bug, though it is difficult to be certain due to the angle. They are beneficial predators in the garden, but can bite painfully.

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what the heck is this thing?
I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, right next to the woods, and I found this weird-looking insect that I don’t know what it is. I know it’s not a spider since it only has 6 legs, but what the heck is it?

Nice photo of an Immature Assassin Bug.

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cannibal ant? spider? wasp?
Hi there.
Could you help me identify this bug that is living on our deck (in Columbia, Maryland) near my toddlers’ slide? They have shiny black heads and thoraxes with seemly smooth bright red abdomens. Six long delecate-looking legs and a pair of thinner antenna. Their dead comrades are all missing their abdomens. Whether coincidence or not they are congregated around bits of spiderweb-looking threads and there is a sac nearby their "hangout" as well. They may bite as I was bitten by an insect I am sure was an exact copy at a playground a few miles away. I checked around the web as well as your website and couldn’t find anything convincing. I appreciate your help!
Karyn Hessler

Hi Karyn,
Your have a wonderful photo of Wheel Bug Nymphs, Arilus cristatus, a type of Assassin Bug. They have a painful bite, as you know. They are beneficial insects as they prey upon garden pests. Just don’t touch.

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Red/yellow unspider
I have no clue what this bug is. It has 8 legs, but two of them it seems to use as antennae, so I don’t think it’s a spider….do you know what it is?

Hi Korey,
You have a species of immature Assassin Bug. You are very lucky you did not get bitten. Even the nymphs can deliver a painful bite. In addition to its sucking mouthparts, it has six legs like all insects, and two antennae.

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I have an odd insect-
This is probably something common, I’ve just never seen before. I think it’s a wingless wasp that has built a small- 4 cm diameter may .5 cm, at the most, height hive on my mimosa tree. (Since it’s built a hive, I am thinking it’s a wasp of some sort and not an ant. Are there ants that build hives? ) It has a bright red abdomen and yellow tipped antennae. It is social, there are about 40 of them working together on this. It appears the queen is on top of the hive but she doesn’t have the coloring that the others do. It is the size of an ant, and it’s legs are long-antennae are elbowed – it looks like a spider at first glance. Ever heard of anything of the sort?
Lisa McCaskill

Hi Lisa,
This sounds very interesting. I can’t think of what it could be. I wish you could send a photo. Thanks,

Thanks for answering. I found out that it’s hatching assassin bugs– here is a photo, the “hive” is actually eggs, and they only appear social because they’re hatching,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination