Biting or Stinging Grape Vine Insect
I went to pull a dead a leaf off my muscadines and felt an instant powerful bite or sting. I didn't see what it was. Left a barely visible blister looking (it's not) spot and stung/burned for several minutes after. Thumb is still red 10 minutes later but I think it's going back to normal. What could that have been?
Forsyth County North Carolina
My first guess would be that it was an assassin bug or "wheel bug". They are predators and have piercing mouthparts which they use to attack a variety of insects including caterpillars, beetles, etc. They typically don't bite people, but the sudden appearance of your hand (and thumb in particular) probably put the insect into a defensive posture and it struck. At this time of year, it's a good idea to wear gloves while doing any garden chores because you may also encounter wasps and other critters.