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Pennsylvania Ambush Bugs

Phymata pennsylvanica


Small predatory insect with a unique shape. Females are larger and somewhat paler than males. Males often are found riding around on the backs of females. These mighty little hunters wait on flowers for other arthropods to come near. They have grasping claws on their front legs that they use to initially grab prey. Their saliva contains a substance that very quickly paralyzes their prey, enabling them to take down larger prey.


Meadow. Found on flower heads of Wild Carrot and Giant Goldenrod.


The rest of these insects that I observed at this location:

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Kyle A
Kyle A 6 years ago

How does one determine the difference between P. pennsyvanica and P. erosa?

ForestDragon 6 years ago

They are really amazing insects!

Kyle A
Kyle A 6 years ago

Fantastic ambush bugs. Thanks for sharing.

Spotted by

New York, USA

Spotted on Aug 23, 2013
Submitted on Feb 11, 2014

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