VA.PHC

Plant Health Care in Richmond, VA

Arilus cristatus

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Wheel Bug

Of the order Hemiptera or “half winged”.

Family Reduviidae, second largest family in Hemiptera. The Assassin Bug Family.

Arilus cristatus

Cristatus is Latin for “crested”. Only insect in the United States with this crest.

This bug is a True Bug! A big one. 1″ long. She’s a beneficial insect, that has gone through five molts to get to this adult stage. The wheel bug is a viscous predator at all stages of its life cycle, eating all types of “bag bugs”. They all loooove caterpillars. The female is larger than the male, mating in the fall, then the male guards the female till the eggs are laid. Then dies. Wheel Bugs have one generation per year, overwintering as eggs. They are a big slow moving flyer. Very loud and grasshopper like. It’s long piercing mouth part can inflict a painful bite/sting/pierce if you are unlucky. And since you disturbed it, it will probably release its stinky smelly scent from its anal sacs. Not as bad as a stink bug, but bad. When it pierces an insect, the wheel bug injects an enzyme that paralyzes the victim, then proceeds to suck out the liquidated insides. These are good predator bugs to have around.

Yummmmmy..

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Written by vaphc

September 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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