It seems that the Bug Post has been really popular! So, here are some more bugs! This time, I have a few more predatory bugs to show you. Enjoy!
Let's start with a really cool, yet ferocious looking bug. This is a kind of assassin bug which I believe is in the genus Sinea. If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you can really get a good look at his spiny body. See how his long front legs are folded up? His reach is much longer than it looks. I certainly wouldn't want to be caught by those! Also, see how long his piercing, sucking mouth part is? It too is folded up along his head. Actually, it is so long that the the end of it is resting in part of his thorax! Wow! This predator is sitting on an Orange Coneflower waiting for some unsuspecting insect to arrive. It sure is a dangerous world out there!
Here is another kind of sit and wait predator. This is an ambush bug. Great name, right? This one operates much in the same way as the assassin bug above. As we saw in the last bug post, there are lots of different kinds of insects that utilize flowers, whether they are actually pollinating or not. These kinds of predators are just taking advantage of the buffet!
This picture is not very clear, but this crab spider is also taking a look at the buffet. Like the first bug we looked at, this crab spider has really long legs in the front to help him grab prey when it comes near. Excellent camouflage is his ticket to a nice meal. Look for crab spiders on goldenrod flowers. There are the exact same color as the flowers, making it hard even for us to see them!
This is a kind of fly often called a gnat-ogre. Any guesses why? Even flies can be predators. This tiny insect makes a meal out of an even tinier one!
So I'm not sure if the insect in the two above pictures is a halactid bee (sweat bee) or a cuckoo wasp. I will update when I know. Regardless, it is a beautiful metallic green, and deserves notice just for that.
This is a halactid bee. They are pollinators and will also come to the honeydew secreted by aphids. By the way, it looks like I have never posted on the woolly aphid colonies that inhabit beech tree branches, so look of that coming soon. Anyway, I kind of wanted this insect to be a cuckoo wasp because they are parasitic to other bees and wasps and it would be really cool to see one! Oh, well, i'll just have to keep my eyes peeled.
This pearl crescent butterfly better be careful! There are a lot of hazards out there!
This soldier beetle is better watch out too. He's got some pretty good camouflage though, that should help out.
Speaking of camouflage, can you see the insect in this picture? Look closely!
Can you see him now? It's some kind of orthopteran (grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids). With excellent camouflage such as this, hopefully he's got a chance out there.
Good luck Bugs!