Jagged Ambush Bug

August 22, 2018

Ambush bugs are true bugs and belong to the same family as assassin bugs. They have an interesting fiddle-shaped body, with thick front legs similar in shape to a praying mantis – perfect for grabbling and holding on to prey. Because of its small size, camouflage and surprise tactics, the ambush bug is able to catch many different kinds of insects, even if they are much greater in size. While waiting motionless, they will capture an unsuspecting insect, stab it with its proboscis, inject a paralyzing poison and then eat it.

They all can’t be warm and fuzzy :-).

Phymata sp.

A healthy eco-system will be diverse in both predator and prey, and these awesome ambush bugs are welcome to hunt in the GNG.

Side note: Many families of insects are extremely difficult to identify down to species level. Jagged Ambush Bugs is one of those families. While doing research, I found some interesting reference text associated with these arthropods:

“Strong intraspecific morphological variation, outdated species distributions, and insufficient species descriptions make identifications problematic. Keys are difficult to decipher, and lack recently described species. These factors have left many museums with large holdings of unidentified or incorrectly identified specimens.” (Frankenberg et al. 2013).

In other words, I will not be able to attach a Latin name to this recent find!

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