This insect is well-noted for its incredibly painful bite when disturbed or nonchalantly handled.
A member of the Assassin Bug family, this insect attacks its prey (other insects) with vicious stabbing motions using the 'fang' at the front of its head. This is the same fang that stabs humans who handle it or disturb it.
The Wheel Bug is best identified by the ridged, or spiny, wheel on its pronotum (back), which gives the insect its name. The Wheel Bug operates primarily from summer into fall and feeds on other insects including the slow-moving caterpillars. Its diet forces the Wheel Bug to reside primarily in leafy areas like forests, parks or shrubbery.
Category: True Bug
Common name: Wheel Bug
Scientific Name: Arilus cristatus
Adult Size (Length): 28mm to 36mm (1.10in to 1.42in) [ COMPARE ]
Identifying Colors: brown; gray; blue; red; black
General Description: spiky back, wheel, saw, fuzzy, arched back, fang
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): New York; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; Maryland; Delaware; Virginia; West Virginia; North Carolina; South Carolina; Georgia; Florida; Alabama; Mississippi; Louisiana; Arkansas; Oklahoma; Texas; New Mexico
* Insects are not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.Text ©2005-2014 www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • No Reproduction Permitted