University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #1

(Mystery Picture #1)

Assassin Bug

The first mystery bug was really a bug! It was the spined assassin bug, a member of the family Reduviidae- Order Hemiptera or true bugs. Members of this family are predators. They use their stout proboscis or beak to stab their prey- other small insects- and remove the body fluids.

The wheel bug, also a member of this family, is common in the fall. A partial "cog wheel" pattern on its back makes it easy to recognize. This insect can give a painful bite if handled.

(used with permission of the contributors: Mr Lee Simon (Scanning Electron Microscopy), Andy Chang, Jasmine Foo and James Chun, Rutgers University).

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This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: