Currently viewing the category: "Ambush Bugs"

Subject:  Bugs on mint flowers
Geographic location of the bug:  Cheney/Four Lakes WA
Date: 08/11/2021
Time: 10:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I get lots of interesting pollinators on my mint plants, but these are ones I’ve never seen before, and wonder if you know what they are? Smaller ones we black/dark brown and yellow, the were some busy couples too. Females were much larger and were lighter colors… One was almost turquoise and beige. Thanks for any light you can shed!
How you want your letter signed:  Jeannie

Ambush Bug

Dear Jeannie,
This is an Ambush Bug, a member of a subfamily of predatory Assassin Bugs.  Ambush Bugs are quite well camouflaged on greenish to yellow flowers including Goldenrod, and they often wait on blossoms for pollinating insects to ambush and prey upon.  We hope you continue to allow them on your mint despite the bees, butterflies, pollinating flies and wasps that they prey upon.

Ambush Bug

Subject:  Interesting green bug!
Geographic location of the bug:  99163
Date: 07/25/2021
Time: 03:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! We’ve been scouring all of our resources trying to identify this little fellow and while he looks a bit like a stink bug, his front legs bend more like a praying mantis and he has a ridge to back that gives him a concave appearance. He’s quite tiny, able to perch on my pinky nail with room to spare.
###-###-#### (Ed. Note:  Number redacted for privacy concerns)
How you want your letter signed :  Heath B. & Family

Immature Ambush Bug

Dear Heath B. & Family,
This is an immature insect and immature forms of insects are generally more poorly documented online, which complicates identification attempts.  This is an immature Ambush Bug and it uses its raptorial front legs to capture prey the same way the Preying Mantis does.

Subject:  Found on Asters and it appears to prey on bees
Geographic location of the bug:  Bloomington, Indiana
Date: 10/16/2017
Time: 09:31 PM EDT
I’ve seen a couple of these bugs. They are pretty small, only looking like a tiny piece of bark that fell onto the flower. They seem to park themselves on the aster and aren’t afraid of being photographed. Today, I got a shot of one sucking on the abdomen of a small bee. It looked like the bee wad dead.
How you want your letter signed:  Teddy Alfrey

Ambush Bug eats Flower Fly

Dear Teddy,
Your images are exquisite.  The predator in your images is an Ambush Bug, and though it resembles a bee, the prey is actually a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family SyrphidaeAmbush Bugs are frequently found on blossoms where they ambush insects, many of which are pollinators.

Ambush Bug

Thanks for the “exquisite” comment, and the quick reply!!
My thought was that the prey was something like a Mason Bee, but of course, you’re right about the Flower Fly.
I have quite a few insect photos on my Flickr page:
And on Facebook:
Other than bees, my favorite insects to photograph are spiders, but I don’t get much love for my spider photos!
Thanks again!!!

We have published your links so maybe you will get some additional traffic.

Subject:  squat yellow bug w tiny praying mantis legs
Geographic location of the bug:Madison, Wisconsin
Date: 09/03/2017
Time: 02:59 PM EDT
found this little dude crawling on my picnic blanket and I’ve never seen anything like it. he has wings, but was happy to just crawl around my hands for several minutes before he decided to fly away.
How you want your letter signed:  kk

Jagged Ambush Bug

Dear kk,
The magenta knit background beautifully contrasts the chartreuse color of your Jagged Ambush Bug, quite unlike the typical camouflage it enjoys when resting on many blossoms.  The Jagged Ambush Bug is a predator that uses its raptorial front legs to capture prey much as a Preying Mantis hunts.

Subject: Leaf-like insect?
Location: Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
July 31, 2017 7:21 pm
I was wondering if you could help me identify this bug. There were two of them, and they are quite strange looking. I’ve tried a Google image search but haven’t found anything.
Signature: Mary-Ann

Jagged Ambush Bug

Dear Mary-Ann,
Your Jagged Ambush Bug images are awesome.  Jagged Ambush Bugs are stealth predators that depend upon camouflage to help them capture winged prey, often much larger than themselves.

Jagged Ambush Bug