While few of our readers may recognize this insect by name alone, I’m bettin’ we’ve all seen them around our homes. The Assassin bug is something that I’ve been particularly interested in for some time now. At first my fascination came from the name alone, I mean seriously, anything with ‘assassin’ in its name has to be pretty freakin’ cool. Well this insect sure lives up to the expectations set by it’s namesake, and I can’t wait to find a way to include him in the story!
The Vile Assassin
The Assassin bug gets its name from the way it stalks its prey; pouncing on the unsuspecting victim and impaling it with a needle-like snout. Sound pretty nasty? Well it gets better! After piercing the victim’s body, the Assassin bug injects it with a venom that liquefies the poor bug’s insides. What’s left is a tasty protein shake that the Assassin is happy to slurp up through it’s needle nose.
That’s the assassin bug that I’ve grown to appreciate. But thanks to my cousin Racquel I’ve have been further educated in the vile nature of these hardcore bug assailants.
Certain types of Assassin bugs are known for decorating their bodies with the hollow carcasses of their victims. They do this for a couple reasons (I was surprised to learn that ‘looking wicked awesome’ was NOT one of the reasons), the most obvious of which being that by building a mound of bodies on their backs the assassins will look exponentially larger than usual. This can dissuade any would be attackers. Furthermore, if a large enough creature decided that the assassin looked like a tasty treat, the body part parka can be ditched to make for a quick escape!
I still think that looking wicked awesome should be the main reason for engaging in this type of behaviour, and with that thought in mind I started working on this rendition of our not-so-friendly neighbourhood Assassin bug!