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  • Ambush Bug - (Phymata spp)

    Ambush Bug - (Phymata spp)

    Ambush bugs truly live up to their name, waiting patiently for unsuspecting insects to get just close enough to become a meal.


    Staff Writer (10/23/2017): Perfectly camouflaged on sunflowers, and decently so among other blooms, Ambush Bugs are efficient insect predators. They are not picky. Any insect that gets too close to an Ambush Bug is quickly attacked with its strong front legs and dispatched. This insect can be helpful in protecting the plant from sap-sucking insects, but its non-discriminatory nature may result in the loss of some pollinators as well. Ambush Bugs are known to take on insects much larger than themselves and win.They can sit still for hours, waiting for a meal to approach.

    Ambush bugs can vary slightly in color. Some are golden yellow and brown, while others are more green. Males are physically smaller than females and can often be seen riding on their mates back (see the fourth photo in the gallery). Females will lay bunches of fertilized eggs on plant stems and cover them in a frothy coating, which may offer protection from desiccation and predation.

    Look for Ambush Bugs in yellow flowers, like Black-Eyed Susans and sunflowers. White daisies and colorful asters are also popular blossoms for this insect. They don't mind urban gardens, suburban backyards or meadows; any area with flowers and insects is a good place to search for Ambush Bugs.

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    Details of the:
    Ambush Bug


    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Ambush Bug
    Scientific Name: Phymata spp

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Reduviidae
           Genus: Phymata
            Species: spp





    Size (Adult, Length): 8mm to 10mm (0.31in to 0.39in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow, brown, green

    Additional Descriptors: spotted, flower, flying, helpful


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.





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