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Alien Bug?

IMG_0802Imagine this creature being 6 feet long, lurking in tall vegetation, just waiting for some unsuspecting animal (like you) to come wandering by.  Before you know it that spike is raised and then quickly thrust into your body.  There’s no escaping.  You are a goner in a matter of seconds.  Sounds like something out of Starship Troopers.  In reality, this is a bug known as a Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus).  Shown here is a nymph that is maybe 1″ long.  The adults are more of a light brown/white combination, and just behind the head will be a semicircular protrusion that resembles a wheel.  This type of bug is part of a larger family known as assassin bugs, because that is what they do to other, often larger, prey.  I found this little one in my backyard last week.  I’d never seen one before and it took awhile to finally figure out what it was.  But if it were really 6 feet long-watch out!

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