Thursday, March 25, 2010

Killer Bug!

Things I normally don't blog about: bugs.

But I just recently realized that I'm sharing the planet with this particular bug and I think it's cool. It's called a wheel bug, and it's the largest of the assassin beetles. Sort of like a ninja insect.

See that little tubelike doodad underneath its conehead with the googly black eyes? That thing will whip and stab another insect and paralyze it almost instantly, and then it'll start pumping saliva and enzymes into the critter and liquefy its insides before sucking it all up like a slurpee. They kill lots of garden pests so they're actually good to have around, but they're kind of scary.

For humans their bites are painful and don't heal very quickly; they'll probably leave a scar. But they don't attack unless provoked, and they move pretty slowly unless you're right in their face.

These things usually go for caterpillars and such, but they can even take out bees with no trouble and yes, even praying mantises! Check out this YouTube video here; the mantis puts up a fight but once that beak is in there, it's nothing more than a mantis milkshake to the wheel bug.

Sweet dreams!

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