Day 123: Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug and its Prey ©Jackie Brooks

Assassin bug feasting on spotted cucumber beetle

“Assassin bug species vary greatly in both size and coloration. Many are small (1/2 inch) and green or brown. Others such as the large wheel bug grow to 1.5 inches are gray in color and have a distinctive, cog-wheel shaped thorax. Assassin bugs have an elongated, narrow head, a long, three-segmented beak, and an abdomen often widened at the middle exposing the margins of the segments beyond the wings. Assassin bugs have as aggressive behavior and are not afraid to attack creatures much larger than themselves. They will inflict a very painful bite to humans if handled carelessly, causing a severe reaction in some persons. The assassin bug is named so because of its ambush-like way of hunting its prey. They stab the insect, inject a lethal toxin that dissolves the victim’s tissue, and then suck out the liquefied tissue through a modified mouthpart ‘beak’. They generally hunt on various forms of vegetation, such as trees, weeds, and bushes and tend to be poor fliers.” (Source)

15 thoughts on “Day 123: Assassin Bug

  1. ACK ! – and I find that we have them down here, too ! I doubt I’ve ever seen one, I can happily state: they are not appealing. The photo, however, is great !

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  2. Yes, I was bitten a few weeks ago by an insect that would not let go of my hand. I finally pulled it off I now think it was the assassin bug.. Each to their own but I was rather astonished by its tenacity to keep a hold on my hand.

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  3. Oh when we first moved here, with a woods behind us, my son Dylan, then 12, brought one to show me, in a jar. I had never seen one before and thought it was the ugliest thing I ever saw. I’ve seen many since, and still don’t like them at all, lol! Now you’ve taught me that they will actually bite a person, which I never knew. I was avoiding them anyway…………thanks.

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