It’s not called an assassin bug for nothing.
Take note of the cold-blooded killer in this video, which shows a wheel bug nymph using its razor-sharp mouth parts to bring down a much more massive caterpillar seeming to mind its own business.
The wheel bug, known by its scientific name Arilus cristatus, is a member of the family of “assassin bugs,” which are found as far north as New England and as far south as Central America. Many are known to inject a toxin into their prey to immobilize it before sucking out its inner bodily juices. Yum.
This video, posted by the YouTube account Pests and Natural Enemies in December 2013, features a silver-spotted skipper caterpillar, a plump and jolly specimen unaware of his impending untimely fate.
It’s a classic WWE takedown—except this time there’s a giant spiked beak that penetrates the opponent’s flesh and completely paralyzes it. That’s something you won’t see in the wrestling ring.
The wheel bug plunges its pointed beak into the caterpillar, who wriggles and squirms, but to no avail. In a near instant, the deed is done. The bug has made its kill (and all to the tune of a suspenseful soundtrack).
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