Masked Hunter

Subject: Mysterious tiny insect covered in moss/dust
Location: Pointe-Claire, Québec, Canada
July 27, 2013 9:46 am
Greetings from Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
It is summer right now and we’ve had some very high temperatures and a big wave of humidity last week. As an animator, I am always fascinated by movement, bodies and such.
While at the computer I noticed from the corner of my eye this little guy moving around on the desk. He was quite slow, easy to keep track of and incredibly small.
Here are some approximate measurements:
The actual segment of the core/body was about 1 MM long. From the end of the hind legs to the tip of it’s antennae it was about 2.5 MM long.
I spent two hours trying to figure out what insect this was, as well as studying it’s pattern of movement and it’s behavior. The thing that intrigued me the most was that it was entirely (legs, head, body, etc.) covered in MOSS/DUST (which, intuitively to me, seemed to be somewhat intentional (if that makes any sense)).
What IS this wonderful creature? I must know!
Signature: François

Masked Hunter
Masked Hunter

Dear François,
This intriguing creature is an immature Masked Hunter, a species of predatory Assassin Bug with a sticky exoskeleton that causes dust, lint, dirt and other material from the Masked Hunter’s surroundings to adhere to its body, creating a very effective means of camouflage.  Masked Hunters might bite a human if carelessly handled.  They are one of the commonest Assassin Bugs found in the home and they seem to have adapted to living indoors where they will feed on cockroaches and other unwanted household pests.  We once posted a photo of a Masked Hunter camouflaged by the blue fibers of the carpet in the home.

Thank you very much for the time you’ve taken to answer my inquiry.
Please know that the information was very appreciated and I am, as of right now, reading up on the bug to satisfy my curiosity.
Thanks again.

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