University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #13

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


Scorpions pack a punch in their tails. The front pinchers are used to grab and hold their prey- usually small insects. While we typically think of them in hot deserts or tropical jungles, there is a species that occurs in much of Kentucky and over the southeast. To read more about our Kentucky scorpion, Centruroides vittatus,jump to Scorpions in Kentucky.


The Wheelbug is a beneficial insect with piercing sucking mouthparts. Its sharp beak, extending from the front of its head, is usually carried in a groove along its body between the legs, so it does not show up well in this picture. The front legs are fitted for grabbing prey (usually caterpillars)- much like a praying mantis does. The common name of this insect comes from the back hump which resembles half of a gear wheel.

Return to Mystery Bugs

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