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Article: What's That Bug? Arilus cristatus, the Wheel Bug: how big?

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Forum: Article: What's That Bug? Arilus cristatus, the Wheel BugReplies: 9, Views: 45
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psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2013
7:17 AM

Post #9473531

You mentioned that they were big, but I'm curious HOW big? I still remember the first time I saw a Jerusalem Beetle I was scared to death!!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2013
10:05 AM

Post #9473676

If memory serves, about 1 1/4 inches, stem to stern. We have loads of them here, along with lots of praying mantises also... and our japanese beetle "problem" has been negligible in recent years! I think they are even reducing the stink bug population... There's a lot to be said for reserving pesticides for epidemic infestations... the less you spray, the more you'll build up a population of "beneficial" insects to keep the garden-devouring ones in check.

Now, if only there were beneficial insects that devoured mosquitoes...

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2013
10:06 AM

Post #9473679

For mosquitoes you have BATS!! (or at least we do!)
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2013
10:50 AM

Post #9473709

Not enough bats...

Guess that means I should put out some bat houses. Sounds like a good rainy day activity. thx!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


April 7, 2013
6:10 AM

Post #9474436

I'll add the size to the article. I've read that the bodies can reach 1 1/2" (body, not including the legs) so critterologist and I are pretty close with size estimates. This guy that I photographed was on the big side...he was really scary.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2013
9:59 AM

Post #9474688

I think I've seen a few that were closer to 1 1/2 inches also... but since I didn't get out a ruler, I was estimating conservatively! And yes, that doesn't include the sticking-out legs! They are startling, at least until you realize they're not coming for you LOL. They mostly move very slowly and deliberately, like praying mantises. The neighborhood kids think they're cool, like dino-bugs. They would be great in a horror movie close-up!
gardengirl86
Middleboro, MA

April 8, 2013
3:37 AM

Post #9475524

This is one of the most amazing-looking bugs that I have ever seen. Thanks for the pics; I will be on the lookout for them now. I am in SE MA, close to Rhode Island, so maybe I'll get to see a real one. I, personally, think that it is beautiful!
As for praying mantises, we had so many last year, that I lost count. They were huge, too. The largest one was at least 6 inches long. Fascinating and beautiful creatures. I am enclosing a photo I took of 2 of them mating on the side of my house.
But the most fascinating insect was seen in a neighbor's yard, a rhinoceros beetle. Now that looks like a prehistoric animal. I still remember my neighbor running through the back yards yelling, "Get out your son's bug book! Hurry." LOL.

Thumbnail by gardengirl86
Click the image for an enlarged view.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


April 8, 2013
6:23 AM

Post #9475660

Yep, the rhinoceros beetle is another interesting critter...here's my article about them: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3923/
SoooSirius
Municipality of Murr, PA

April 9, 2013
9:31 AM

Post #9477472

Hi,
I agree on the size of these cool bugs - and when trees are in leaf, they are very hard to see. In the fall, after leaf drop, but it the weather isn't freezing yet, you might see them more readily. At that time they are either looking for a mate or looking for a nice twig to lay eggs on to overwinter. Like many predatory insects, they have good eyesight in a close range, and will move themselves to the opposite side of the twig or leaf they are hiding on in order to avoid you.
Thanks for the great article, Melody!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


April 9, 2013
9:37 AM

Post #9477479

;o)

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Other Article: What's That Bug? Arilus cristatus, the Wheel Bug Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
TY for this read! TrumpetFlowerz 1 Apr 8, 2013 6:23 AM
Awesome Insects Gardeningman 1 Apr 8, 2013 9:04 AM
they mind commands olympiapaz 1 Apr 8, 2013 10:33 AM
Thanks treesmoocher 1 Apr 9, 2013 6:35 AM


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