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Jagged Ambush Bug - coupling pair

Phymata sp.


Both ambush bug adults & nymphs are predators of a wide variety of insects including bees, wasps, flies, caterpillars, beetles & aphids. These tiny true bugs are well camouflaged and will hide in foliage or flowers and wait for prey. Mating occurs with the male mounted on the female's side - When males (sometimes multiple males) are seen on top of the female, it is thought that this enables them to take larger prey and is called 'coupling'.


Most of North America. Flowers in open or semi-open habitats.

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27 Comments (1–25)

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 10 years ago

Thank you so much Project Noah and thank you everyone for your kindness!

Reza Hashemizadeh
Reza Hashemizadeh 10 years ago

Congratulations !

Fyn  Kynd
Fyn Kynd 10 years ago

Awesome spotting, congratulations Small Wonders (Kim)! Very cool!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 10 years ago

Congratulations Kim. And thanks for the explanation about coupling vs. mating. I didn't see as many ambush bugs this past summer and I am looking forward to many more discoveries as soon as it warms up. This is one of my favorites of yours. They are so cool looking and this is a great macro. Congrats on SOTD!!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 10 years ago

Congratulations -well deserved !. Amazing insects and great information -thanks Small Wonders.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Congratulations on a well-deserved Spotting of the Day! Cool informations on the coupling. I always thought they were mating. I like the teamwork!

NeilDazet 10 years ago

Congratulations Kim on the SOTD, super!

Arun 10 years ago

Great spotting !! Congratulations !

LaurenZarate 10 years ago

This is a wonderful picture! I've always wanted to see one of these. Congratulations on SOTD, well deserved!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 10 years ago

Congratulations ! Wonderful...

NuwanChathuranga 10 years ago

Congratulations Kim!

SachindraUmesh 10 years ago


Wild Things
Wild Things 10 years ago

Beautiful! Congratulations!

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 10 years ago

Congratulations for such a beautiful photo and the much deserved SoTD.

LuisStevens 10 years ago

Congrats Kim!

Phil_S 10 years ago

Great shot!

KarenL 10 years ago

Congrats Kim! This great capture has been chosen as spotting of the day!

Ambush bugs are predators; they wait on or near flowers for insects to come close by, then grab their prey with their front legs.

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 10 years ago

Thanks Forest Dragon! It's been added :)

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 10 years ago

Thanks Maria :)

ForestDragon 10 years ago

Beautiful photo! This would be a nice addition to the Eastern Assassin Bugs mission (it's global):

Maria dB
Maria dB 10 years ago

Fantastic shot!

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 10 years ago

Thanks Karen! It has taken a of couple of years & many photos to finally have a clear image :)

KarenL 10 years ago

Bravo Kim - I know how tricky it is to photograph these tiny bugs!

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 10 years ago

Actually they are not mating. This is called coupling, thought to help them catch larger prey, which explains the long duration. Supposedly, the male mounts the female from the side when they are mating :)

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 10 years ago

I love ambush bugs. They do like mating for a very long time.

Small Wonders
Spotted by
Small Wonders

Northview, Michigan, USA

Spotted on Sep 1, 2012
Submitted on Mar 14, 2013

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