Wheel Bug: a Bee Killer

Today in the garden, I found a wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) that had just caught a bee in the backyard. I got a few pictures, click on them to see the larger images. A wheel bugs catches its prey by plunging its beak into them and holding them with legs. It the injects them with an enzyme that paralyzes them and begins dissolving them drinking up the victims body fluids.

A bite from a wheel bug can be pretty nasty and can take months to heal. Some say it hurts 10 times worse than a hornet sting. I would recommend staying clear of them and letting wheel bugs roam your garden and eat up your ‘pest’ insects.

Charlie Moores at 10000 Birds also caught something similar when he was in Toronto. Check it out on his post.