identify this bug please

Asked August 17, 2014, 8:49 AM EDT

This large gray bug had captured this carpenter & was injesting it. I spotted another of these large gray bugs in my butterfly garden.

Centre County Pennsylvania entomology insect identification butterfly gardening horticulture

1 Response

This is a wheel bug, Arilus cristatus. it is in the Reduviid family, also called assassin bugs. It is a predator and thus a beneficial insect. You can pick them up but stay away from the mouth parts because they can give a painful bite. By the way, this is an outstanding picture. I would like permission to use it for educational programs. If you would not mind emailing it to me at hreed@umd.edu and giving me the name of the photographer so that I can properly credit it I would appreciate it.