Immature Wheel Bug

What is this ?
Location: Pool Cage – Tampa FL
April 15, 2011 1:24 pm
Hi There,
A friend told me of your site. Trying to identify this spider like bug in my yard. It is near my pool cage. We have never seen them in the 7 years living here. We now have had 8 over the last week. One of them stung my girlfriend on the wrist when she was sitting on the ground. It looked like a small puncture mark. She then had some aching and throbbing of her veins in her wrist. Then she has some discomfort extending up her arm. So, it seems like there is venom. BTW – we live in Tampa FL. Our house does not back into the woods. It is a settled neighborhood and we have houses on all sides of our property. I have spray some concentrated bug killer around the pool cage, but we are still seeing 1-2 per day. Today I killed 2 and I’m going to try seeing if I can find a local exterminator company that I can bring one that I captured in a jar. Any help from you is much appreciated!
Signature: Roy

Wheel Bug Nymph

Dear Roy,
Because Wheel Bugs,
Arilus cristatus, have recently hatched in many parts of their range, people are beginning to request identification information.  We have posted at least four letters with images of immature Wheel Bugs in the past week.  Your letter contains information about your girlfriend being bitten, and we have indicated that we rarely receive reports of people being bitten by Wheel Bugs, but that there is a possibility it will happen.  Wheel Bugs are beneficial predators and we would urge you not to spray needless pesticides.  We are linking to an image on BugGuide of a Wheel Bug feeding on prey so that you can see the piercing and sucking mouthparts.  We are preparing your letter and image in advance to post live during our absence from the office for several days next week.

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