Friday, September 25, 2009

Assassin Bug: Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

I made an exciting find this afternoon. The Goldenrod is in full bloom at the moment and will be a major food source for wasps, bees, and flies into the late fall. I noticed something larger on one of the flowers. At first I thought it was a Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus) although it looked a little big at a distance. When I investigated, I found that it was a Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus). I first saw these last year and only saw one or two. They don’t seem to be common in our area. These are fascinating bugs – they look like prehistoric armoured insects - and this year I have been purposefully looking out for them.

I saw this nymph in the butterfly bush in June and July. I didn’t see it again and assumed it had become a meal for something a little larger.

This is a handsome specimen. It was feeding on a bee.

Identification resource:
- Bug Guide: Assassin Bug: Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) [Nymph] [Adult]
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