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Jagged Ambush Bug

Phymata pennsylvanica


Phymata is derived from the Greek "Phyma", which means tumor or swelling--and one can see why this strange, armored, lumpy-looking insect got its name. Length is about 3/8". Front legs are configured for grasping, much like the mantids. There are 17 species in North America.


I photographed this mating pair in an old, overgrown field. They tend to like to lie in ambush for their insect prey on yellow flowers, such as goldenrod.


I've seen these rather diminutive insects take large and dangerous prey, such as honeybees.

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Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 9 years ago

asergio, I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder...grin.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 9 years ago

Great photo, Gordon. I like those weird critters a lot. They prove that it doesn't mater how ugly you are, you'll always find a soul mate! :-)

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 9 years ago


Gordon Dietzman
Spotted by
Gordon Dietzman

Roseville, Minnesota, USA

Spotted on Aug 24, 2008
Submitted on Mar 21, 2012

Spotted for Mission


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