Assassin Bugs, Predators That Trick Their Prey

Assassin Bug

Assassin bugs are appropriately named because of their habit of lying in ambush for their insect prey. With speed and accuracy, this bug uses its long "beak" to stab the victim and then inject it with a lethal toxin that dissolves the victim's tissue, then it sucks up the liquefied tissues through its long beak

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YouTube - Assassin Bug vs. Bat

Think there's nothing scarier than a vampire bat? How about the bug that sucks it's blood?

Assassin Bugs - Assassin Bugs, the Insect World's Most Cunning Killers

Bee Assassins

Bee killers use a clever method of catching their favorite prey, bees.

Masked Hunters

Also called the masked bed bug hunter, this assassin bug nymph will disguise itself by picking up debris, from dust to dead bugs, and sticking the trash all over its body.

Ambush Bugs

Ambush bugs site motionless on flowers, waiting for a bee or butterfly to land. When one does, the ambush bug pounces quickly, grabbing the prey in its strong front legs.

Assassin Bug Eats Spiders After Feigning Capture | Wired Science | Wired.com

The assassin bug slowly approaches the spider on its web, using its forelegs to pluck the silk threads in a manner that simulates the vibrations of a fly struggling after being caught. Wignall studied the behavior of the bugs, and found that the response of the spider to the predator was the same as its response to when a vinegar fly or aphid was caught in the web.

Once the spider is close enough, the assassin bug lashes out, and eats the poor unsuspecting arachnid. Most of the time, anyway — Wignall also observed a few occasions of spiders counter-attacking the bugs and killing and eating them instead.

This video shows an assassin bug luring, striking and killing a spider. This research was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B in the paper: Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey by Anne E. Wignall and Phillip W. Taylor. The doi link for the article is http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2060