A Wheel Bug is a real bug

All bugs are insects; not all insects are bugs. True bugs are classified in the Order Hemiptera. A practical example may help to illustrate the distinction.

Dragonflies and damselflies — my first loves in the Class Insecta — are classified in the Order Odonata. They are insects but not true bugs. Make sense?

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) is a true bug in the Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs) that preys on pest insects. Notice the red proboscis below the head of the Wheel Bug — a non-retractable structure that is used to pierce and suck the life juices from prey.

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

This is one crazy-looking bug — the “wheel” on its back reminds me of Stegosaurus!

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

Related Resource: All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs, a blog post by The DragonflyWoman.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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12 Responses to “A Wheel Bug is a real bug”

  1. Victor Rakmil Says:

    Great photos. I have long wanted to see one of these. They have never been seen up our way.

    • waltersanford Says:

      You’re too kind, Victor! Several photos in the gallery are similar, but like you, I waited a long time to see a Wheel Bug so I decided to publish all of the good photos from a set of 29 shots that I took.

  2. Mike Powell Says:

    Great shots, Walter. I have visions of the wheel starting to turn like a circular saw–I should stop watching horror movies.

  3. laura lecce Says:

    That is one very scary and impressive looking bug! Is it big? I know a few people that would have endless nightmares if they ever saw one of those!

  4. Pete Hillman Says:

    What a wonderful bug! Great photos! The colours are fantastic!

  5. Top 10 Photos of 2016 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) […]

  6. Peopoll’s Choice Awards – Top 10 Photos of 2016 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) […]

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