Saturday, July 11, 2009

What Insect Is This?

Click on Image for larger view
What I thought was a spider, on closer inspection I realized it was not. I've never since this little guy before and looking through my insect book I couldn't find it, although I think it is one of the beetle species. Does anyone know what this is? It is about 1-inch long and walked around with it's tail up like you see. The inset picture at top right shows distinctive markings on its body. The inset picture at top left is a close-up of the inset below it. This shows what looks like a long "tooth" at the front of its head. Any ideas what this is?


  1. I think that's a type of assassin bug known as a "wheel bug" - they've got a mean bite...

  2. Yep, that's what it is. I got the same answer from a couple of others, Dan Mitchell and Nick Reuss. I must have had this Assassin bug iritated to make him stand with his tail up. Here is Nick's Note, with a cool YouTube link:
    Hi Tom,

    What you have discovered is an Assassin bug.

    They are not uncommon here in Miami County and this bug was scary enough that about 13 years ago after moving here I captured one and took it to Hershel George at the Maimi County Extension office. He told me that they can be aggressive and that ‘tooth’ is used to inject a poisonous saliva into its victim and the rostrum then it sucks the fluids out. I understand it is also known as the “kissing bug” due to its tendency to pierce the lips of humans that are sleeping. Scarier, they also target the eyes.

    Never-the-less, like Preying Mantises, some keep them as pets.

    Nick Reuss

  3. I thought because of the long "tooth" it may be in the weevil family, like this long-toothed acorn weevil:

  4. Those can't be any more creepier than the camel cricket

    We were infested with these things in my workshop last year. Literally hundreds had
    "come out of the woodwork". Took about 2 months to get rids of them all.
    At first they look like a gigantic spider. They can get up to about 1.5" long and can
    jump literally about 3 feet on a single hop. So far none have returned this year.