Weekly Puzzler Answer #76

eggs--4So at some point before these eggs hatched, I thought, ‘gosh, I really don’t know what will come out of here. Maybe it won’t be a docile caterpillar like the Monarch. I should separate them, just in case.’ And I did. Which turned out to be a really good thing because guess what came out of those two beautiful eggs?

Two small–but fierce–assassin bugs! Even without having ever seen or heard of this insect, I am sure you can guess a bit about their habits! They are of course ASSASSINS! They are predators, feeding on other insects and invertebrates. assassin--5

There are 6,000 different kinds of assassin bugs in the world. All are predators that have a long beak that consists of 3 segments plus a single tube. Unlike many other animals, they do not have internal digestion, but rather external digestion.

An assassin bug approaches a fly

An assassin bug approaches a fly

They use their beak to inject a paralyzing toxin into their unsuspecting prey. Then they suck out the body fluids. Yum, right? I hope you’re not trying to eat breakfast as you read! If so, my apologies!

An assassin bug feeding on a soldier beetle.

An assassin bug feeding on a soldier beetle.

The toxin works quickly, able to kill a cockroach in only a few seconds and a caterpillar in less than 10. Probably a good thing for the animal about to be sucked dry.

Check out the long beak!

Check out the long beak!

Assassin bugs will molt 4 times before becoming their adult size and color.

Have you ever seen one of these bugs? If not, be on the lookout as they are pretty interesting to watch.

Want to try your luck at the next puzzler? Click HERE!

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