Thursday, December 8, 2011

Garden Vistors - Arilus cristatus

The Wheel Bug is known around here as the Stegosaurus bug which is just how it looks.  Slow moving and over 2 inches long, but hard to spot; it certainly grabs your attention when you see it.

More common in the eastern United States, Texas is the western end of its range.  Surely San Antonio is the outer limits.

It's a form of assassin bug and blows poison out the "back end".  I hope this one found plenty to eat since they are beneficial in the garden.


  1. I think I've seen one of these. A bit scary looking.
    I'm never sure who is a good guy and who's a bad guy.
    I have the Texas Bug Book, but it's certainly not the best one around for finding out just who you're seeing.

  2. Very interesting - so many insects are beneficial, it seems. That wheel bug is certainly unique for me. Here, vinegaroons are >3" long + antannae, they shoot out acetic acid, but they eat centipedes...

  3. Linda - Same here, birds are easier since online sources sort by color. Bugs are mostly some version of the same dull colors and there are a lot of scary ones so finding a good search word isn't easy.

    DD - The vinegaroon is creepy looking, but beneficial too. Haven't seen one here.


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