Weird Bug in cereal box!
Location: Lynchburg, VA
November 8, 2011 6:32 pm
Just curious what kind of bug this is. It was inside a cereal box that was previously opened but closed back up and the bag of cereal folded down. The pictures were taken by me, Nov 8, 2011. It seemed harmless, but reminded me of a preying mantis in its mannerisms. Strangely aware of its surroundings and moving very slowly.
We contemplated sending you a quick response this morning, but our lead writer decided it was more important to comb his hair and catch the train to work so as not to be late, hence, we waited until the leisurely evening hours to respond. This beautiful predator is a Wheel Bug. You were astute to notice the similarities to a Preying Mantis in the raptorial forelegs of this species of Assassin Bug. We are a bit dumbfounded as to why an adult Wheel Bug would wander into a box of cereal, but we feel it was a random landing. Generally, when people find insects in cereal, they are culprits like Indian Meal Moths, Spider Beetles or Larder Beetles. Wheel Bugs can fly. Do not let their lethargic movements fool you as they belie the quick grab and piercing bite of a formidable predator. The name Wheel Bug refers to the signature cog on the thorax which we believe deters predators from swallowing adult Wheel Bugs. There is a reason we made the Wheel Bug the Bug of the Month for November 2010, and that is because adult Wheel Bugs are a seasonal occurrence.