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Content tagged with "assassin bug"

image of Assassin Bug crawling on a leaf

Assassin Bug

Although many species of assassin bugs are black or brown, some are more brightly colored. They have an elongated head bearing a single, clawlike tube used for piercing and injecting venom into their prey.

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image of Assassin Bug crawling on a leaf

Assassin Bugs

Nearly 200 species in North America north of Mexico
Assassin bugs are usually black or brown, with an elongated head bearing a single, clawlike tube used for piercing and injecting venom into their prey. They are common in Missouri.

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image of a Wheel Bug, Side View

Wheel Bug

Arilus cristatus
This large gray or brown insect carries something interesting on its back: Is it a cog, or a wheel, or a circular saw blade? It’s unmistakable!

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image of a Wheel Bug, Side View

Wheel Bug Adult

Adult wheel bugs are easily identified by the coglike “wheel” on the back. Note the narrow head bearing a single, clawlike tube used for piercing and injecting venom into their prey. Handling this and other assassin bugs is not recommended, as they can inflict a painful bite.

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image of a Wheel Bug Eating Asian Lady Beetle

Wheel Bug Eating Asian Lady Beetle

Much like a single-fanged spider, a wheel bug bites its prey, delivering a subduing venom that causes the prey insect’s tissues to liquify. The “meat” of the insect can then be sucked up through the wheel bug’s strawlike beak.

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Photo of a cluster of wheel bug eggs

Wheel Bug Egg Cluster

Wheel bugs have only one brood per year. Adults mate in autumn, and the females lay six-sided clusters of cylindrical brown eggs on solid objects such as trees and the sides of buildings. Hatchlings emerge in spring and grow slowly, taking months to mature.

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image of an immature wheel bug

Wheel Bug Nymph

The immature nymphs of wheel bugs are reddish with black legs. They can look rather spiderlike or antlike. They grow slowly and devour many insects as the season progresses. Note the jointed antennae.

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