Monday, March 14, 2016

Ambush Bug

I have been waiting to post this one because I needed to ID this bug. Thanks to a FB friend, I finally have it. It's a Jagged Ambush Bug.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw something strange. I little skipper (type of small, fast flying butterfly) just sitting still on my Butterfly Bush. It sat still long enough for me to get a macro pic of it. That's when I really began to wonder if it was dead. When I touched it, it moved a bit. I tried to get it off of the flower, but it seemed stuck. I pulled it off. Then, to my surprise, I found that it had not been 'stuck', but caught, by this little guy. They tuck themselves into flowers and wait to ambush an unsuspecting insect. It has forelimbs similar to a Praying Mantis, and being part of the group of bugs known as Assassin bugs, it injects the prey with a toxin that causes paralysis, and liquifies it for easier consumption. It's prey are butterflies, bees, and even wasps!
It flew away after I got it's picture.
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Ambush Bug tucked amongst Butterfly Bush florets

Ambush Bug on my finger

Back of the Ambush Bug

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