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Wheel bug (nymph)

Arilus cristatus

Description:

The wheel bug has characteristic dorsal armor, shaped like a wheel or cog. It moves and flies slowly, and in flight produces a noisy buzzing sound. It has one of the most developed set of mouth parts among true bugs. Its beak arises from the anterior end of its long, tubular head and unfolds forward. The bug plunges its beak into its victim, pinning its prey with its front legs. It then injects enzymes into the victim, paralyzing it and dissolving its insides, and proceeds to drain all of the victim's bodily fluids. The bite of a wheel bug is painful and may take months to heal (sometimes leaving a small scar), so caution is highly advised when handling them. The wheel bug is also noted to be very vicious in the wild, and cannibalistic behaviors between them have been noted; for example, nymphs may prey on nymphs and the female may feed on the male after mating is concluded. It possesses two scent sacs (red-orange in color) that can be fired from its anus, usually in reaction to being disturbed. The scent produced by it is not as powerful as that produced by the stink bug, but is still strong enough to be detected by human noses. Colors include black and gray. (information from Wikipedia)

Habitat:

City park

Notes:

This species has been hatching over the last couple of weeks.

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1 Comment

RickLampman
RickLampman 7 years ago

Very Cool Find !!

Aaron_G
Spotted by
Aaron_G

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Spotted on May 16, 2013
Submitted on May 17, 2013

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