Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug!!! I never thought I would see another one of these again- the first time I encountered one I got a call from my neighbor in Asheville saying "Leslie, CoMe SEe ThIS CraZy BuG On My PorCh!" We had no idea what it was till a commenter on this blog identified it as the rarely (or never) seen by humans wheel bug.
Given the name wheel bug I am sure from the saw like jagged wheel shape on it's back, it is one amazing and prehistoric looking creature. It's big tooth is larger then it's micro sized head, and penetrates soft bodied insects for a meal. It can also be used to give a vicious painful bite to humans. They are said to be shy and I believe this is true- in both cases I saw wheel bugs they were trying to hide and get away from me, but they are not overly scared at the same time - they will aggressively move towards you also. (I like these guys!)
Wheel bugs are said to grow up to 1.5 inches long (not quite as big as a flying Louisiana cockroach but pretty huge for something that bites real bad and flies too)... this one I saw yesterday was rather small compared to the one I saw last year. It was also in an area with alot of other bugs which had hard bodies, and Lil' Wheelie seemed to have no interest in eating them.
Then there was this tiny insect that looked like a baby wheel bug, but since their nymphs don't hatch till spring time I supposed it was not...but maybe??!! (Someone tell me if they know, and maybe someone tell me if they even think they know!)
One tough little buggie though, giving the hands up threat to the wheel bug when he crept close by. :)
Was this a case of "Luke, I'm Your Father"? Cause tiny guy, your profile looks like ya got the mono killer tooth too!


Ben Garland said...

I've seen one of those before. Didn't know they were rare! Cool :)

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Ben!
I know, doesnt it make ya feel special!? I am dorking out ova' the wheel bug too.

Kittie Howard said...

Like Ben, I've seen those before and didn't know they were rare...I also kinda backed off, surprised, they do have a way of gaining one's attention.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Kittie -
Maybe people think they are rarely seen cause no one knows what the hec it is and doesn't mention it...
cause we all saw it! ;)
PS- this is the special time where they come out during the fall, so maybe we will see some more.

Wild Canary said...

Love your blog, Leslie and your photo eye. Things move slowly. We cut our trees for a Tiny Home oasis last year, but they haven't been sawn yet. I love your collection of bug and homes...I have one too, I am trying to blog, but that is slow, too. Thank you for sharing your life! It is inspiring!

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Wild Canary!!
Thanks so much! Your tiny home sounds really exciting... i am going to your blog now- i look forward to seeing pics of it being built. xo