Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes)




Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes)


Unlike many assassin bugs, Bee Assassins are good fliers. They also have sticky hairs on their front legs which help them secure their prey. It is probably for these reasons that the name "Bee Assassin" was bestowed upon them. They can capture bees while most other assassin bugs cannot. That does not mean Bee Assassin Bugs do not prey on other insects, however. In this case, I think the Bee Assassin is being an opportunistic scavenger. It is feeding upon a recently dead beetle up on our porch, a beetle perhaps stepped on during the previous night's activity under the porch light. The Bee Assassin avoided the beetle's hard shell by inserting its beak gap between head and thorax.

Once the beetle was punctured, salivary secretions were pumped through a canal inside the bug's piercing/sucking beak. The salivary secretions not only serve to quickly immobilize prey (in most cases) but they also dissolve the prey’s internal tissues. This process enables the assassin bug to withdraw the bodily contents of its prey.



Share/Bookmark

7 comments:

Old Wom Tigley said...

Firstly I have tosay this is a great picture and fantastic posting... but... if Jane was to walk out of our house and see either one of these.. ha! she'd run back in quick... I can only imagine the words that Jane would use to describe these... and BUG SOUP... no way. ;O)

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like these guys and most other assassin bugs. I have seen and photographed a few here over the years but mine are most office white.

laughingwolf said...

fascinating, thx marvin :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This reminds me of the June Beetle that was being devoured by a host of black ants in the garden yesterday. I didn't get a picture. I was a little too lazy to go in and get the camera. Yes, I do go outside without my camera. Not often but it does happen.

Louise said...

I have a beetle like that flying around in my bedroom because when I see it, I don't have time to take it outside. Hope I don't have any assassin bugs in there! Nice picture. Terrific education!

AphotoAday said...

Oh darn, that old beak gap between head and thorax.
Just goes to illustrate that there can't be any chinks in a guy's armor...

smilnsigh said...

A squashed beetle. That's what he's after!

Miss Mari-Nanci