Wheel Bug

cool looking bug I found on my satellite dish
Location: Charlottesville, VA
July 10, 2011 8:17 pm
Hi! I was up on my roof yesterday and saw this really interesting bug with a shiny patch of dark grey material on its back, and a spiked spine. Also had an interseting hooked beak with a small worm in it. Can you identify it? Thanks!
Signature: James in VA

Wheel Bug

Hi James,
This is a Wheel Bug, one of the predatory Assassin Bugs in the family Reduviidae, and its largest North American member.  They use the beaklike mouth to pierce the prey and suck fluids.  They are also capable of biting humans, though not aggressively.  Bites occur when they are accidentally encountered or carelessly handled.

2 thoughts on “Wheel Bug”

  1. These things seem to be out in mass here in western NC this year. I still am amazed at their appearance. One question though, has anyone else noticed they produce a red/pink liquid from the back? My friend had one on him and he is afraid of bugs so I took it off of him and the bug produced a red/pink liquid. I was thinking its a bad tasting substance to deter predators?


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