Sunday, July 20, 2008

Steppin' out

It looks like a mass of tangled legs--12 in all, with 2 heads and 2 tails. Just hangin' out on a cedar shake as I came in the back door.
And right at eye level, could I not look further?

I seem to encounter these very large true bugs a lot--wheel bugs, the largest of the assassin bug family, with cog-shaped dorsal armor and the slow, stalking movements that makes them good subjects for photos.
In this case, even slower--he's just stepped out of his too-tight hard outer covering and is getting used to his new skin.

The June beetles better look out now.
He means business, this hit-man in the steel gray suit.

Wheel Bug, adult

late instar Wheel Bug nymphs

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Peggy said...

Wonderful! I came here on recommendation of Caroline of Crayons, and she was right, you have a great site! Wonderful photos and I love the way you describe them! I'll be back....

Pam said...

That is an awesome photo of the Wheel Bug nymphs!

Old Wom Tigley said...

I've learned so much this year from blogging, and bugs is something that as grabbed my interests... excellent pictures and post.... as always :O)

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, that is one evil-looking bug. He could be a model for a super villain in a sci-fi movie.

nina said...

I LOVE this bug--I really do see more than my fair share.
And although they're said to have the worst bite of any insect (I'm not sure how this is quantified) they're non-agressive toward humans.
So cool to look at..those sucking mouthparts for "external digestion" (piercing victim, injecting toxin/digestive enzymes, then sucking liquified matter out like a milkshake!)
An assassin for sure!

Gallicissa said...

The 'hit-man in the steel gray suit' has a lot of character, may I add.

Kerri said...

Yikes! These guys scare me! I would think they would scare any other bug that got within reach.
You have some amazing shots of them here!!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Lots of legs in this picture Nina.

Susan Gets Native said...

Why do you seem to have ALL of the wheel bugs, Nina?
I had first seen these guys on What Bug Is That?, but you have them right near your house? I need some to eat all the Japanese beetles!
(Isabelle would keel over with joy if she found one of those big dudes!)
Did a program at a library today...thought of you. And speaking of programs....why haven't I done one at YOUR library?

nina said...

I think I must really have "all" the wheel bugs--I can count on finding one every day (saw another last night, in fact!)
Raptor actually did a program for our library maybe 2 (?) years ago--but a man was the presenter--anyone you know? (Salem Township Public Library)

Mel said...

WOW! That is a cool bug!
Awesome pictures!