Unknown insect

Asked November 1, 2018, 11:22 AM EDT

We discovered this little guy in our wood pile after bringing it into the house. The darker photo is without flash and the lighter photo is with flash. We picked him up with a Popsicle stick.We did not kill the bug, We put him back outside. I am in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I have never seen an insect such as this before. I tried looking on line but only found 1 picture and they were calling it "Unknown" Hoping you can help me to identify this bug, and really hoping it is not some bug that will infest our home.

Garfield County Colorado beneficial insects assassin bug nymph assassin bug masked hunter

1 Response

Thank you for using the Ask an Expert service!

The insect you have pictured is a type of Assassin Bug called a "Masked Hunter".
You can see Dr. Whitney Cranshaw's (CSU Entomology Professor) comments on a previous inquiry about this insect, here: https://ask.extension.org/questions/463705

They are beneficial insects, and predate on other insects. They can have a painful bite if you try and handle them, but are not going to bother you if you leave them alone.
They collect debris on their body, often using it as a camouflage to better serve them in their role as effective predators.

You can learn more about these insects here:
https://webdoc.agsci.colostate.edu/bspm/Hexapoda%20(Insects)/MaskedHunterRevised2017.pdfr

Thanks,