Entomology (Study of Bugs)/please help



I live in Ontario Canada. I live in a wooded area. when I went to grab my shorts I found this bug on them. and every one is telling me it's a tick. but it only has 6 legs and I read that ticks have 8. also it's a fare size to. so I was wondering under you could help me identify what this type of bug is. thank you so much.

Hi Whitney!

You are correct...this is NOT a tick.

This is an immature specimen of a group of insects called assassin bugs.

Assassin bugs are predators of other insects.  Some species of assassin bugs, called kissing bugs, feed on animals and humans while they sleep.  However, this specimen does not possess the checkerboard coloration around the rim of its abdomen that I would expect to see from a kissing bug, whether mature or immature.

Assassin bugs of all species have been known to bite.

For more information on this group of insects, do a search for "assassin bug" and "kissing bug."

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs


I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.


22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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