Assassin Bugs are as fascinating as their names. When I first heard my friend tell me the name, I was immediately intrigued. Well, turns out that they are indeed true to their name 🙂 . They are predatory in nature. Their methods of feeding is quite interesting. They use their long proboscis to inject their lethal saliva into the prey. This saliva containing enzymes that digest the tissues, liquefies the insides of the prey and is then sucked out. It is almost likely “sucking a smoothie”. This method allows them to kill prey that is substantially larger than the bug itself.
Assassin Bugs are part of the family Reduviidae. They are not uncommon to see if one pays a little bit of attention. Here is the first individual that I got to see:
I think it is one in the genus Isyndus. If you know it to be something else, then do let me know 🙂 .
Here is another of the same “type” I saw at another lake:
Ever since I got to know of its feeding habit, I was eager to see it in live action. Well, I had the good fortune to see it during one of my subsequent outings. The individual was feeding off a Tussock Moth caterpillar. Here are some pictures of it action:
Here is a video that I took of it feeding off the Tussock Moth caterpillar. You can see that the caterpillar was still alive when I saw it. I also managed to record the bug changing the position of its proboscis.