What is this?

It is a true bug because it has a triangle shape in the middle of its back. Let’s take a closer look.

It also has enlarged front legs for grasping prey. This is an ambush bug, Subfamily Phymatinae.

Check out those orange eyes.

Ambush bugs sit on flowers and wait for other insects or spiders to come by. When the unsuspecting prey gets too close, ambush bugs grab it with their front legs. They are a lot like praying mantids.

We’ve never featured ambush bugs for Bug of the Week before because they don’t live in this part of Arizona. The photographs are from western New York.

If you have a minute, this video shows an ambush bug in action (Note:  Video is set to music). You can see the antennae have wider segments at the end, called a club. That is a characteristic of the group. You can also see the wings are part leathery and part membranous like all true bugs.

Did you see its short beak? True bugs have sucking mouthparts.

The ambush bug looks so clumsy and clunky, but it can strike fast.

Have you ever seen an ambush bug?