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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/First time I have ever seen this insect


Unkown insect.
Unkown insect.  
Attached is an image of a insect that I found today. I have never seen and insect like this before and it has to be the most interesting insect I have ever seen. I would like to get an identification of it before I release it back.

Hi, David:

That would be an adult "Wheel Bug," Arilus cristatus , a kind of assassin bug in the family Reduviidae.  Here is more about them:

They should be quite common where you live, and you have probably seen the younger ones that do not have a crest.

These are beneficial insects, but I don't recommend handling them.  They can inflict a very painful bite in self-defense if they feel threatened.

Hope this helps!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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