THE ASSASSIN BUG.
It was on the clothes basket, and I carried it inside unnoticed. When I did see it, it startled me--scared me, even. It was so weird looking!
I took some pictures of it and let it go. When I showed my brother the pictures, he said, "Assassin bug!"
Why would this bug be named an assassin? Assassins are killers. I did some research, and I found out. This bug eats other bugs. Here is what else I learned about the insect.
There are many different kinds of assassin bugs. The one I found is called a giant wheel bug. (Look at the photo. Do you see why?) All assassin bugs have long narrow heads with their eyes set far back. Most have wings that will lay in a concave area of their back.
The most unusual feature of an assassin bug is their "beak," or mouth part. It curves down, and the tip fits into a groove, or furrow, between the forelegs. It's like a gun that fits into a holster.
Assassin bugs hide on plants that match their coloring. When an insect happens by, an assassin bug will lunge and capture it. Then it will stick its sharp beak in. A digestive fluid is injected, which helps liquefy the insides of the insect. After sucking its meal dry, the assassin bug drops the empty skin.
His mission is accomplished! He's not hungry now. But insects, beware! The assassin bug will need another meal soon.
by Cindy Breedlove