Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, November 07, 2011

Assassin Bugs come in after Moths, but get caught by spiders

Normally Assassin Bugs win in battles with spiders - they are specialist Spider killers. But obviously, if you "live by the sword", you can also get caught in a web of deceit.

Several of these insects flew in on the two night when Moths were swarming around my light. I have previously found one of this species (and several of a much smaller species).

But, anyway, this guy was swinging around, caught in a Daddy-Long-Legs web, so that allowed me to get various angles on the beastie.
This shot shows the wings, legs and the antennae. 
The "beak" (which we shall see more closely) is tucked straight under, 
so is not visible in this shot.
Assassin Bug - possibly Black Ground Assassin Bug (male)
 This is a close-cropped view of the same angle.
Large eyes are on side of the head,
but note the two red "occelli" (primitive eyes)
on back of the head.
Assassin Bug head - note two red "occelli" on top of head.
Here is the same individual swinging around on the web.
Now visible from the side.
Assassin Bug
 Same shot - a cropped view.
This is why I referred earlier to
Assassin Bugs "living by the sword"
It is a marvellous weapon they are equipped with.
Head of the Assassin Bug showing the "Rostrum" - the killer's "beak"
I have not given this insect a positive specific name ID, as the best coverage of Assassin Bugs I can find comes from Brisbane, and this species is not the main one they find there. It is possibly Peirates punctorius the Black Ground Assassin Bug. This one would appear to be a male; certainly it is capable of flying. It is apparent that in many species (and maybe in this species) the female is flightless.

There is a useful "facts sheet" on Assassin Bugs from the Queensland Museum. Two of the things I remember from reading about these insects previously are:
  1. Their bite is painful; and
  2. famously. Charles Darwin received a major blood-borne illness from having been bitten by a South American species.

No comments: