Monday, September 22, 2014

3 Bugs - 2 Identified, 1 Mystery

Yesterday, we caught a glimpse of a number of interesting insects.

First, there's these guys:

Some time ago, I figured out that was milkweed (it's a 'pod' dummy, not a 'cone'). It turns out these little guys are appropriately known as Milkweed Bugs. They're not especially notable, except that they are harmless and make good specimins to study.

And then there's this guy:

Check out the 'spikes' on his back. He's a Wheel Bug (again, pretty well named I'd say) and looks like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. The Wheel Bug belongs to the slickly named assassin group, and though it's hard to tell in the above photo, he has one massive fang. So, should you mess with Wheel Bugs? No, no you should not:

Q:What insect has the most painful sting, in your opinion?

A: That is a good question and I feel I am qualified to answer it because I have been bitten and stung by just about everything that bites and stings.

Over the years I have been bitten by venomous snakes nine times (two copperheads, one water moccasin and six rattlesnakes). I have been stung by a half dozen scorpions, several centipedes, a black widow and several other spiders, fire ants, harvester ants, velvet ants (wingless wasps), bats, rats and cats.

Without a doubt the most painful bite I have sustained was from a wheel bug.
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Some good news: Wheel Bugs aren't aggressive. If you leave them alone, they shouldn't bother you. Still, I think I'll pass on taking close ups of Wheel Bugs in the future.

And finally, the mystery. Check this guy out:

I mean, he doesn't even look like a guy (or gal, for that matter). He looks like a chunk of leaf or something. But, when I got close enough, he started moving. It's alive!

So what is it? Any ideas?

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