Saturday 27th of February 2021

nature's assassins...


At first I though this was a spider attacking a caterpillar. But I counted the legs. This fellow catching a caterpillar is definitively an Assassin bug: 6 legs and two long antennas. The caterpillar skin is toxic, mostly on the top. The Assassin bug turned the prey around and pierced to the juicy bits on the belly. The caterpillar fought back by wriggling violently. Embraced in a tussle, they lost their footing and fell into the litter below where the fight continued. This is nature...



Assassin Bugs range in size from 5 to 40 mm (0.2 to 1.6 inches). An assassin bug uses its short three-segmented beak to pierce its prey and then suck the body fluids from its victims. A characteristic of the family is that the beak is curved and lies in a groove between the front legs. Although assassin bugs are generally black or dark brown, some species are brightly coloured. Most members of the family live outdoors and prey on other insects. However, some suck blood from vertebrates, including humans, and transmit diseases.


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a natural balancing act...

picture at top by Gus Leonisky.


I understand this is a brightly coloured nymph of the Bee Killer Assassin Bug...


Bee Killer Assassin Bug

Pristhesancus plagipennis


The Bee Killer Assassin Bug is a slow-moving predator that lurks among foliage and on flowers to ambush other insects as food. The species is found in open forest and woodland in eastern Queensland and New South Wales.


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scale of the bug: