Unmasked: Immature Masked Hunter

Unknown insect
Location: Grand Island, NE
February 4, 2012 5:46 pm
My wife found this insect in her bath towel. It left what appears to be a single puncture in her skin. We just want to know what it is.
Signature: John

Masked Hunter nymph, Unmasked

Dear John,
This is an immature Assassin Bug, but we had to do a bit of digging to identify the species even though this is one of the most common Assassin Bugs on our website.  This is an Masked Hunter nymph, though it is a bit atypical since Masked Hunter nymphs are generally covered in lint an debris that acts as camouflage for them.  We are guessing this individual is newly molted and it hasn’t yet had any lint or debris stick to it yet.  Masked Hunters are often found in the home, and we generally inform people that they are beneficial as they will eat other problematic insects and they are especially fond of hunting Bed Bugs.  Masked Hunters do not normally bite humans, but they will bite if carelessly handled or provoked.  Sadly, the accidental encounter your wife had resulted in a bite.  The bite is not considered dangerous, though the discomfort may last a few days.  Adult Masked Hunters are glossy black winged insects.

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