Bee Killer Assassin bug

Of all the names for all the insects in all the world - surely the common name of Assassin bug has to be about the coolest eh?. These little beasties have much in common with the Predatory Shield bugs but are a separate species all the same. They are also close cousins of the parasitic bed bug - the bane of hostels and backpackers Australia wide.

Like all true bugs it has a tube [rostrum] for a mouth - however, unlike all bugs this is used to pierce the bodies of it's insect meals, injecting strong enzymes that turn their poor victims insides to soup before being sucked out - kind of like an invertebrate milkshake ...

Pristhesancus plagipennis

Living up to the name [inset photographed previously, but who knows, it may be the same bug?]  

Obviously Bee Killer Assassin Bugs eat other insects besides just bees but you might take note; Even though they are small [this one was around 25mm], they can and will defend themselves by stabbing anyone foolish enough to carelessly handle them. However, I should add that I have had these guys land on me inadvertently but with some gentle coaxing it's easy enough to remove them without being savaged lol.

So don't freak out.


  1. It's important to treat bee assassins gently, not only because you can get stabbed, but when injured they emit a strong smell something like banana-flavored nail polish remover!

  2. Excellent and interesting comment - cheers for that.

  3. I'm in northeast USA. These guys start sneaking into the house when the weather gets cool in autumn (which is now, upside-down from you) so I know them as a house bug, not a garden bug. They walk around in slow motion, and sometimes fly when they want to get somewhere else faster. You have to be careful where you step... you know you've nicked one when you get that weird aroma.
    Thanks for the great blog!

  4. Thanks again SWEN ... I may have my geography wrong, but I'm guessing New England? - close to the Canadian border anyway. Maybe N.Y state ...?

    Doesn't matter, brilliant to get comments from so far away.

    I have an update for this post that I haven't done - but due to your comments I'll get on to it A.S.A.P ...

    Stoked you enjoy the blog, take care.


  5. Yep, New England... Massachusetts.
    I'm a kindred spirit, so I "get it" shooting critters... check out MY lucky backyard photography project...
    Isn't it cool to be able to talk to the other half of the planet, where the hurricanes spin the other way, the seasons are backwards, and the moon is upside-down! (And the people talk funny... (-: )

  6. Yeah, its cool alright - love your web site let me know when you add to it okay? For the rest of you web voyeurs, you can check it out here: Frog Shots, it's also in the blogs we enjoy section ...

    Great work Suzanne - awesome.

  7. Thanks for the website plug! Next time I update mine I'll put a link to yours on my home page. Critter lovers who like frogs and turtles will surely love your hairy and unexpectedly gorgeous creepy-crawlies!


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