Jagged Ambush Bug - I Catch Bees by their Tongues

It is a beautiful, warm spring day. You are a bee. It is a perfect day for sipping nectar from flowers. You spy a lovely little Daisy Fleabane blossom and fly toward it to take a sip.

You hover over the blossom and begin to drink the warm, sweet nectar. Suddenly, a mutant life form grabs you by your tongue and starts pulling you toward it. You try frantically to escape- but it is too late. The assassin crushes you with its powerful forelegs, inserts a sharp proboscis into your body and then promptly begins to eat you.

Congratulations, you have just become the latest victim of the Jagged Ambush Bug! These insects hide beneath the flower petals and wait patiently for insects to land- at which time the ambush bug pounces- sometimes even catching bees by their tongues as they sip nectar. Ouch.

Jagged Ambush Bugs are in the Hemiptera family which is the family for True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies. I'm sure they make a great family portrait. Not!

Jagged Ambush Bugs are also close cousins to the Wheel Bug, which we also have here in Alabama. Be aware that some of these bugs, especially the Wheel Bug can inflict a very nasty bite. The Ohio Nature Blog and Carolyn Hietala Nature and Art Paintings blog have some nice photos and a description of the Wheel Bug. Be sure to visit their blogs- they are both excellent.


Donna said...


Thanks for the compliments on my photos. Have you taken a look at my website in addition to my blog? My best photos are in my website portfolio at http://donnabrunet.com

I got bitten by an assassin bug this spring -- a Black Corsair (my April 2nd post). I never would have dreamed an insect bite could hurt so much. And I'm sure a wheel bug would be even worse.

Your blog is a lot of fun to read. I especially liked the October 14 post on the Red Centipede.

Tom said...

Hi Daniel,

Also, thanks for the link. I'm glad that I didn't touch the wheel bug when I was photographing it for the blog. I had no idea they could inflict such a painful bite, but I guess I should have known with that fierce looking mouthpart.


Wasp Catcher said...

What a colorful description! Hoping these bugs eat wasps too, since people are always looking for ways to control wasps naturally.

Karl said...

I like how you described the way you catch these bees. Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas.

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