Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wheel Bug

Found this odd looking bug crossing the road. Notice the "cog" shaped ridge on its back. This "cog" gives it the nickname "wheel bug". It's actually a species of assassin bug. Assassin bugs are beneficial in that they feed on insects that are considered pests (examples-webworms, cabbage worms) so if you see one of these in your garden welcome it. Be warned though that you should not handle them. If you look close you'll notice its red beak. This apparatus is what is used to pierce its prey. A toxic saliva is then injected which not only paralyzes its prey but also dissolves its insides allowing the "wheel" bug to then suck out the liquified inards. This same beak can also pierce the skin of your hand if you decide to pick it up. Its bite though not poisonous is said to be quite painful. Though I often tend to pick up things I come across I decided to pass on this one. :-)


Web Counter
Online Schools