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Wheel Bug - Arilus cristatus

Wheel Bug - Arilus cristatus
Searcy County, Arkansas, USA
August 22, 2004
This was hanging out in a garage in rural north central Arkansas. I don't recall the exact size, but it wasn't small, although it also wasn't huge (maybe around 2" long?). I took pictures and fled the area as this is one of the scariest insects I have personally seen, so I didn't see how it traveled but it appears it may have wings folded up on its back. I think it sort of resembles a mantid but I went through all the pictures in that section and didn't see one like it. The most interesting detail is the spiked "mane" on its back.

Images of this individual: tag all
Wheel Bug - Arilus cristatus Wheel Bug - Arilus cristatus

You were right to be leery.
If you had handled it, it could have delivered a painful bite with its sharp stylus.

Not a chance
Yes, I read that about them, however even though I had no clue at the time it didn't look like something I wanted to handle much less be near for an extended period. :)

After posting, I tried a search for "spiked" and came up with an assassin bug, specifically the wheel bug (Arilus Cristatus) which is what this appears to be.

Wheel Bug
You're right on the ID. I'm going to move it to the guide as it's our first Arkansas photos.

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