Class: predatory | beneficial
Description: gray to black or brownish in color, though some are brightly colored
- Wheel bugs – largest of the species, the name comes from the distinctive, cog-like crest arising from the top of the thorax. Wheel bugs will attack larger insects like grasshoppers and larger caterpillars.
- Ambush bugs are a type of assassin bug that lie in wait for their prey on flowers. Some of these species are colored to blend in perfectly with their flower hiding places.
- Cone-nosed bug, or kissing bug, is parasitic on humans and other mammals – orange and black markings on the abdomen
Proficiencies include: capturing and feeding on a wide variety of prey including other bugs, bees, flies, and caterpillars.
Preferred method of capture: Prey are captured and quickly stabbed with long mouthparts and immobilized by a paralyzing toxin, the prey’s body fluids are then consumed through the assassin bug’s straw-like mouthparts.
Bites from wheel bugs are immediately very painful, but treatment by a physician is not usually needed.