Arizona Naturalist >>> Montane Arthropods >>> Ambush Bug

Ambush Bug

Phymata americana

Ambush Bug, Phymata americana, photo © by Mike Plagens

Granite Mountain Wilderness, Yavapai Co., Arizona, USA. 14 Sept. 2012. As a sit-and-wait predator on this inflorescence of Golden Crown-beard it could be detering pollinators.

Reduviidae -- Assassin Bug Family

Bees, despite possessing a stinger with potent venom, are no match for these camouflaged bugs that wait on flowers. With a powerful beak and gripping front legs even large bees are caught. Like all true bugs, ambush bugs eat only the liquified contents of their prey. With their straw-like beak they first inject enzymes before sucking out their meal leaving an empty shell.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 15 Dec. 2016.