wheel bug

Martha V. Lutz & Charles T. Lutz lutzrun at avalon.net
Sun Aug 13 12:20:09 EDT 2000

Jenn wrote:

"Hi everyone,
We found a bug crawling on our back door that is very strange looking.  It's
a mossy blue/green color with a round spike wheel on it's back, it looks
like it might be in the beetle family.  It has an extendable needle that
curls up underneath it's head, underneath body, very similar to the needle
protrusion the kissing bugs are famous for."

The 'needle' sounds like a beak, which would make your animal truly a bug
(Heteroptera) and therefore not a beetle of any kind.  The spiked wheel on
its back sounds exactly like a 'wheel bug,' or Assasin bug.  What part of
the country are you in?  I found many of these in Missouri in August 1999.
Does it produce an unpleasant, somewhat musty odor when disturbed?  If so,
you've got your predaceous wheel bug identified.

In Stride,
Martha Rosett Lutz

P.S.  I can send you that Latin name if you like.  Just let me know.

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