Sunday, August 1, 2010

Assassin in the Garage

This wheel bug, (Arilus cristatus) a kind of assassin bug, was on my car.

Assassin Bug

B discovered it. That is his heavy work glove attempting to detain the bug for pictures. When I snapped what turned out to be its last picture, it flew straight at my face. Mind you, I was not sure what kind of bug it was at the time, but a little squeal escaped my mouth as it suddenly flew at me! I jumped aside and it flew past me. I had to send a couple of pictures to UF for identification.

Assassin Bug

The round body part behind the head is thought to look like a cog-wheel, and thus the common name. Wheel bugs eat a variety of other insects, some of which are helpful, like honey bees and ladybugs and some of which are harmful, such as aphids. They may also be cannibalistic. Their saliva contains toxins that quickly kill their prey.

Once long ago, an assassin bug flew through a car window and bit me. It was a painful bite and the swelling was rather impressive, so I had identified it at that time to know what in the world had attacked me. Apparently, they are well-known for their bites.

1 comment:

Floridacracker said...

I had one get me once too. It really packs a wallop.