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Wheel Bugs--Mate Guarding - Arilus cristatus - male - female

Wheel Bugs--Mate Guarding - Arilus cristatus - Male Female
Durham County, North Carolina, USA
September 25, 2004
Note the white plug in the female's genital opening. I'll bet this is a spermatophore, that helps prevent other males from mating.

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Wheel Bugs--Mate Guarding - Arilus cristatus - male - female Wheel Bugs--Mate Guarding - Arilus cristatus - male - female Wheel Bug Mate Guarding - Arilus cristatus - male - female

How can you tell male or female?
We found too many of these ugly bugs, captured 3 of them. My question is how can I tell what sexes they are when they are not mating?

telling sex of Arilus
Well, I guess the male is smaller, with a thinner abdomen. That's probably hard to tell in a lone individual.
That's in a full adult, of course. These are true bugs, have gradual metamorphosis, and I don't know if you can tell the sex of young ones (nymphs).

Watch out in handling these, they can give you a wicked jab with their mouthparts. I understand it can really hurt and remain swollen for several days.

I'm surprised to hear of you finding several at once--I usually just find one in an area, usually hanging out on flowers, waiting for prey. This was the first time I've seen them mating.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

yeah i belive they inject a c
yeah i belive they inject a combination of hydrochloric acid and a neurotoxin, or so ive read. the mouthpart acctually has 2 tubes and i think one injects and one sucks. if im wrong someone feel free to let me know cause i cant remember where i read this i just remember reading it.

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