Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ABC Wednesday: B is for Bug

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Not just any bug, but a true bug: a Twin Spotted Assassin Bug. It's an African species and they prey on other insects and invertebrates, sometimes killing prey that is as big as they are.

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They are easy to keep and make fascinating pets. Although they have an extremely painful bite and can spray you with defensive liquid, they are not at all aggressive and prefer to hide. I've seen people handle them, but I prefer not to. They breed readily in captivity, as demonstrated by the pair above.

They lay beautiful purple eggs and after a while, tiny assasin bugs hatch:
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They will stay that colour until their first molt, then they turn into a deep purple until their last molt when they grow wings. Since they are very social, it's possible to raise the nymphs together or even together with the adults. I've seen assassin bugs share meals lots of times. Here's one feeding on a cricket:
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What else does B stand for? Find out with ABC Wednesday

14 comments:

Dina said...

What else? I would say Beware the assassin bug! But glad you are brave enough to appreciate them so close.

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting and colorful bug! Thanks for the information, too! Always makes the photos that much interesting! Great shots! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Grace and Bradley said...

Amazing close-up, bit scary.

Johnny Nutcase said...

cool photos of the Assassin, I really like finding those guys, they're pretty cool. Good info!

Babooshka said...

Bugs can be another B, beautiful.

Leslie: said...

I know some people would be put off by bugs, but I am fascinated by them. I even held a cockroach in my hand once. This bug is quite colorful and I enjoyed your narrative about it. :D

Mara said...

Would you mind terribly if I stuck to my four cats? Not that the bug is in any way gross or anything, but it doesn't look too cuddly...

Roger Owen Green said...

How odd y=that something can be icky and beautiful at the same time.
BTW, I'm a librarian, too.

On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you!

Life with Kaishon said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKS! It made me scream thru the screen! Great idea for the letter B!

Joy said...

Great name for a bug and interesting life story.

Diann @ The thrifty Groove said...

Oh great~! Now I have the creepy crawlies happening! LOL

jay said...

Oooh, I love your assassin bug! I didn't know you could keep them as pets, but then I only know the English bugs.

Pretty little things, aren't they?

Tumblewords: said...

I'd rather see your fascinating photos of the assassin bug than to be anywhere near one! Nice post!

Spiderdama said...

Wow, I wanna go to this mountain! Just lovely pictures:-)
Have a nice evening!