Arthropod

White-spotted Assassin Bug

Area: 
West Africa
Habitat: 
Rain forest
Food: 
Crickets and other small insects
Size: 
1 1/4 inches long
Babies: 
Nymphs are red and wingless when they hatch.
Assassin bugs can kill and eat insects twice their size.
Tiny But Mighty

 

Assassin bugs are predators. They lie very still in rotting logs and hollow tree stumps, waiting for other insects to pass by. When a cricket or other preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food. comes close enough, the assassin bug snatches it and holds on tight. An assassin bug's mouthparts form a beakThe hard mouthpart of a bird and some other animals. The beak can also be called a bill. that it uses to pierce its preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food.'s body and inject venom. The venom paralyzes the insectA small animal without a backbone. Its body is divided into three parts. Insects have three pairs of legs and usually two pairs of wings. Flies, ants, grasshoppers, and beetles are a few of the many kinds of insects. so it doesn't struggle. The assassin bug then feeds by sucking fluids out of the insectA small animal without a backbone. Its body is divided into three parts. Insects have three pairs of legs and usually two pairs of wings. Flies, ants, grasshoppers, and beetles are a few of the many kinds of insects.'s body.

 

Being small creatures, assassin bugs need to protect themselves against other animals that might eat them. Their dark coloring helps them camouflageThe color or pattern of an animal's covering that is similar to the animal's surroundings, and therefore helps hide it. May also be related to smell, as in lions rolling in elephant dung to camouflage their scent. among decaying wood. And they have special ways of protecting themselves against predators. When disturbed, an assassin bug might bit or spray a stinging mist from an opening in its abdomen. The liquid usually hurts the predatorAn animal that hunts and kills other animals for its food.'s eyes and nose. Yet, some birds, rodents, and large spiders are still able to eat assassin bugs.

 

A female assassin bug lays her eggs in the moist leaf litter of the rain forestA woodland that receives more than 100 inches (250 centimeters) of rain each year. Tropical rain forests are known for warm temperatures, and have evergreen trees that form a dense, continuous canopy. Temperate rain forests have evergreen and deciduous trees, with temperatures that vary greatly with the season.. When the eggs hatch after one to two months, the babies, called nymphs, are red with black heads and yellow legs. They don't have wings yet and eat very tiny insects. The nymphs moltTo shed portions of the skin, feather, or hair. four times as they grow. After the last moltTo shed portions of the skin, feather, or hair., they have wings and the two white spots that ive this bug its name!