Sycamore Assassin Bug Metamorphosis

Subject: Did he eat his sibling?
Location: Andover, NJ – backyard
July 9, 2013 2:28 pm
I found an assassin bug nymph in my garden today and happily set about photographing it when I noticed what I first thought was a second nymph. But, as I watched, the white ”nymph” wasn’t moving and on closer look appeared to be just an empty shell/skin. So, did the orange nymph shed its skin or did it possibly kill a sibling?
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Sycamore Assassin Bug Molts
Sycamore Assassin Bug Molts

Dear Deborah,
This is not sibling cannibalism.  Rather is is the metamorphosis of a Sycamore Assassin Bug from one instar to a later instar.  The shed skin is known as the exuvia.

Sycamore Assassin Bug Exuvia
Sycamore Assassin Bug Exuvia
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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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