On Aug 8, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:
Ambush Bugs .. look different from other bugs in the Reduviidae family. In fact, some scientists place ambush bugs in their own family, Phymatidae. They are short and stout compared to assassin bugs, and their front legs are thicker and shaped like praying-mantis legs.
Description: 3/8-1/2" (8-12 mm). Greenish to bright yellow with a wide dark band across abdomen. Antennae slightly clubbed. Fore legs adapted for seizing and holding prey. Fore tibiae when folded fit into grooves in underside of femora. Flaring sides of abdomen extend beyond closed fore wings.
Ambush bugs are commonly found on a variety of wildflowers where they wait in ambush for food, such as bees, flies, butterflies, day-flying moths, and other true bugs.
Life Cycle: Black oval eggs are coated with adhesive secretion and glued to plant. Nymphs emerge through uncoated cap at tip of egg. They attack small insects, but the adults often size prey much larger than themselves.
Habitat: Gardens and meadows on flowers.
Range: Throughout the United States and southern Canada.
This bug is almost invisibly camouflaged on greenish-yellow flower clusters, such as goldenrod. Because Honey Bees are killed so frequently .. beekeepers regard ambush bugs as pests rather than as beneficial insects. The common name (Jagged Ambush Bug) refers to the jagged spines at the rear side corners of the prothorax.