Friday, October 10, 2014


My neighbors daughter, Ann was here the other day. 
 As I was walking her out,
 I noticed that the top of my artificial tree was leaning.
When I went to straighten it I saw this very unusual bug.  

 Look at the "sprocket" on his back..
I wonder if he is chain driven.

Ann thought he was a very unusual "tree topper".
Good one Ann.

A fellow blogger said it was a "wheel bug."

From Wikipedia..................

The wheel bug (Arilus cristatus), in the family Reduviidae, is one of the largest terrestrial true bugs in North America, being up to 1.5 inches (38 mm) in length. A characteristic structure is the wheel-shaped pronotal armor. They are predators upon soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars, Japanese beetles, etc., which they pierce with their beak to inject salivary fluids that dissolve soft tissue. Because most of their prey are pests, wheel bugs are considered beneficial insects, although they can inflict a painful bite if handled carelessly. Wheel bugs are common in eastern North America, although many people in the region have never seen them. They are camouflaged and very shy, hiding whenever possible. They have membranous wings, allowing for clumsy, noisy flight which can easily be mistaken for the flight of a large grasshopper. The adult is gray to brownish gray in color and black shortly after molting, but the nymphs (which do not yet have the wheel-shaped structure) have bright red or orange abdomens.
Wheel bugs are highly regarded by organic gardeners because they consume a variety of insects and their presence indicates a healthy, pesticide-free ecosystem. "They’re the lion or the eagle of your food web,” Dr. Michael J. Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, notes. “They sit on top. When you have these big, ferocious predators in your landscape, that tells me that this is a very healthy landscape, because all these other levels in your food web are intact.”[1]

Of course, I knew that..Thanks, Diane


Diane said...

Don't know-- rather creepy looking though.

Diane said...

Just looked it up-- it's a wheel bug. Ya learn something new every day!

Tante Mali said...

Hi my friend,
oh, I love to learn something new every day - now I've to look for a translation! Thank you so much!
A happy weekend to you and yours

Susie said...

I all for any thing eating Japanese beetles....but then what's going to eat the wheel bug ? so creepy. I am a scardy cat when it comes to spiders and bugs. xoxo,Susie

Lynne said...

Sounds like all is in tact in your part of the wold . . .
Interesting . . . another "first " for me . . .

Beverly Frankeny said...

Send me som wheel bugs...I definitely need them in my garden!!!