Currently viewing the category: "Ambush Bugs"

Subject: Mystery Love Bugs
Location: Andover, NJ
June 5, 2013 10:59 am
Hoping you can identify these two happy little insects for me. I photographed them this morning on a wild daisy in Andover (northern) NJ. The daisy was about 1 1/2 inches across, which gives you an idea how tiny these little insects were – I couldn’t really make them out well with the naked eye. The daisy was trail-side near a lake.
Hope you can figure it out!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Mating Ambush Bugs

Mating Ambush Bugs

Hi Deborah,
We apologize for the delay.  We were on holiday and we are now trying to make a small dent in the 100s of identification requests that arrived during our absence from the office.  These are mating Ambush Bugs.  Ambush Bugs were once classified in their own family, but recent taxonomy has downgraded them to a subfamily, Phymatinae, of the Assassin Bugs.  Ambush Bugs frequently stalk their prey on the blossoms of flowers.

Subject: 2 colors of mating ambush bugs
Location: Tonasket, WA
August 18, 2012 11:51 pm
Thanks to your awesome site, I was able to ID this couple quickly, even on dial-up! They must have really really good eyesight because they kept hiding in the Joe-Pye Weed every time I got them in my viewfinder. My husband took one look at the pictures and said, ” Look at the forearms, they have to be some sort of predator!”
Signature: Cathy

Mating Ambush Bugs

Hi Cathy,
We have two possible explanations for the discrepancy between the colors of these mating Ambush Bugs.  Ambush Bugs are masters of camouflage and they often match the colors of their surroundings.  Hemipterans are often much lighter in color just after metamorphosis.  It is possible the female just completed metamorphosis to an adult and her coloration has still not darkened.  Your photos are a wonderful addition to our Bug Love tag.

Mating Ambush Bugs

Subject: Unusual insect – found in KY
Location: Louisville, KY
July 23, 2012 6:15 am
Dear Bugman,
I was out doing some macro photography at a local arboretum outside of Louisville, Ky. when I found this little critter hanging out on the side of a coneflower.
I have seen one like it before, only white, hiding on some purple milkweed but I have no idea what they are. Any ideas?
Signature: John S

Ambush Bug

Hi John,
This effective camouflage artist is an Ambush Bug, a predatory species that often waits on blossoms for prey.  The coloration of Ambush Bugs often closely matches the blossoms upon which it waits.  The blossoms on the milkweed you mentioned were most likely closer in coloration to the Ambush Bug that resided there.

Subject: Bee-Eating Bug
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
June 17, 2012 3:12 pm
Hi there,
I had a one time encounter with this bug and have been trying to identify it since 2009. I am not certain if it killed the bee, but it was certainly sucking the juices from it. Any help would be much appreciated! It was found in late summer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Signature: Sincerely, Morgan S

Ambush Bug eats Bee

Hi Morgan,
This efficient and stealth predator is an Ambush Bug.  They frequently wait on blossoms to ambush insects that are attracted to nectar and pollen.

Ambush Bug eats Bee

Subject: Ambush bug???
Location: Zuma Canyon, Malibu, California
May 24, 2012 10:39 am
Hi Bugman,
I found this guy on Eriogonum fasciculatum (buckwheat) – I didn’t see him until I moved the flower and he crawled around back to get away from me. I don’t know what he is. The closest thing I can guess is some sort of ambush bug. His coloration is amazing! What is it?
Signature: C. Anderson

June 4, 2012
Hey Bugman!
Still can’t figure out what this is. I am going back out this week to look for him. Any ideas?
Thanks, Crystal

Immature Ambush Bug

Hi Crystal,
We missed your original email and we returned to our unanswered mail in order to find your location.  You are correct.  This is an Ambush Bug and it appears to be an immature individual.  It is possible it is freshly molted and its colors haven’t darkened yet, or it might have adapted to blend in to the colors of the buckwheat blossom.  It might be
Phymata pacifica, a species represented on BugGuide from California, however BugGuide has no images of nymphs.