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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Ambush Bug Facts You’ll Never Forget

Read these Ambush Bug facts to know more about these predators.

Ambush Bugs, scientifically known as Phymatinae, belong to the family of Assassin Bugs in the order true bugs of Genus Phymata sp. The Ambush Bug insect is known for their preying skills. They wait for the prey to approach them and kill by ambush. They sting their prey by catching them with their front legs and the powerful toxin kills the prey instantaneously, which is a common method of killing. These bugs camouflage themselves on yellow flowers where other insects arrive to drink nectar. They are omnivores who are typically insectivores but also suck on nectar, due to their long features.

Learn more Ambush Bug insect facts below. After reading about Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.), you may also look at black carpenter ant facts and stink bug facts.

Ambush Bug Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Ambush Bug?

An Ambush Bug is a type of bug with antennae found mostly on yellow flowers from where they catch other insects. The Ambush Bug of family Reduviidae is found all over the world except in New Zealand and Australia.

What class of animal does an Ambush Bug belong to?

The Ambush Bug is an insect belonging to the family of assassin bugs. Huge populations of Ambush Bugs are found in Northern America and Colorado, including several other countries. The overall appearance of this true bug is quite impressive.

How many Ambush Bugs are there in the world?

There are more than 300 species of Ambush Bugs found all over the world. Ambush Bugs are very adaptable and can live in temperate, tropical, or subtropical climates. These members of phymata are far from extinction and their population is above average.

Where does an Ambush Bug live?

Ambush Bugs can live in the woods as well as a farm or garden which is home to many insects. Other insects are attracted towards flower heads for nectar and find mates. The Ambush Bug is a brutal assassin who catches their prey and kills it by envenomating it with its toxins.

What is an Ambush Bug's habitat?

The Ambush Bug lives in a habitat in open spaces like prairies, gardens, parks and fields where the weather is bright and sunny. They can be seen in habitats where the weather is tropical, subtropical and temperate. They are found abundantly in the tropical areas of North America and Asia. They use goldenrods, daisies, and sunflowers to camouflage themselves and catch their prey by using the technique of ambush.

Who do Ambush Bugs live with?

The behavior of Ambush Bugs depends on their species found mostly in the north. Some Ambush Bugs are solitary while some are very social and meet in hiding places like below huge rocks and in barks of trees.

How long does an Ambush Bug live?

Ambush Bugs have a lifespan of 1-2 years. They molt four times before entering adulthood. They are excellent predators who prey on insects, bees, bugs and wasps. They can be killed easily if pesticides are sprayed on them.

How do they reproduce?

Ambush Bugs mate through sexual reproduction. After the fertilization, the eggs are laid and are glued to a twig or leaf of a tree. The nymphs feed on small insects and honey, while the adult females feed on honeybees and other insects. They reproduce multiple times throughout their lifetime. The male jagged Ambush Bug holds on to the female to restrict her from mating with other males.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Ambush Bug is listed as not extinct, which suggests that their population is abundant. There are around 290-300 species of Ambush Bugs found in the wild which have different physical characteristics and behavior.

Ambush Bug Fun Facts

What do Ambush Bugs look like?

Ambush Bugs have bright green colors and are mostly found on flowerheads which are yellow in color like goldenrods and sunflowers. They are cream brown to yellow and green in color. Different species of Ambush Bugs have different colors. They are oddly shaped with lateral extensions and rounded shapes. Some species also have spines on them. Green is a common color of these bugs.

An Ambush Bug is creamish yellow in color.

How cute are they?

They are not cute and can be dangerous to human beings. Their venom is extremely painful, which kills an insect immediately, paralyzing it. Honey Bees and wasps are their preferred and common prey. Young Ambush Bugs prey on midges. They catch their prey with front legs and have a predatory nature.

How do they communicate?

Ambush Bugs do not have sound-producing organs through which they can communicate. They use their scent and touch to communicate with each other. The female is larger and stronger than the male Ambush Bug. They can easily prey on an insect that is larger than them.

How big is an Ambush Bug?

Ambush Bugs are smaller than honey bees but usually prey on them for their food. They are 0.31-0.43 in of length and weigh between 1.76-3.52 oz. They are very predatory and stab their prey multiple times until the toxins melt the insides of the prey's body which is sucked by the Ambush Bug.

How fast can Ambush Bugs move?

Ambush Bugs wait patiently for pollinators and insects to approach the flowerhead to suck the nectar of the flower. They quickly attack their prey by stabbing it in six milliseconds. The prey is killed immediately.

How much does an Ambush Bug weigh?

The maximum weight of assassin bugs is 3.52 oz. The Ambush Bees are smaller than honey bees but can easily kill them. They can kill insects that are larger than them because of their venomous toxins.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no distinctive names for the male and female species of Ambush Bugs.

What would you call a baby Ambush Bug?

A baby Ambush Bug is called a nymph. Like all other species of True Bugs, Ambush Bugs also display simple metamorphosis. Baby Ambush Bug is given different names till it reaches adulthood.

What do they eat?

Ambush Bugs eat nectar, honey bees, wasps, bugs, soft-shelled insects, midges, larvae, and aphids. Like all Assassin bugs, Ambush Bugs are typically insectivores and prey on insects who are attracted to bright-looking flowers.

Are they harmful?

Yes, Ambush Bugs are harmful to human beings as their bite is very painful. Painkillers should be taken to reduce the pain and ointments should be applied to the irritated skin to reduce inflammation and to reduce itching. No serious side effects are seen after a bite of an Ambush Bug.

Would they make a good pet?

Insects make good pets, as they are very low maintenance and easy to keep. As Ambush Bugs can save your crop or garden from harmful pests, by killing them, they are often kept by farmers and gardeners. Though they are very helpful, they should be left in the wild.

Did you know...

The appearance of juvenile assassin bugs is similar to that of adult assassin bugs, just like in a comic book. Ambush Bugs are very patient and can sometimes wait for hours to catch prey. The front legs of an Ambush Bug are thick, allowing them to hold their prey. They use their sharp beak to suck the liquified body tissues from their prey's body.

The Ambush Bug's prey and predators

The Ambush Bug preys on nectar, spiders, honey bees, flies, wasps, larvae, aphids, beetles, and other soft-bodied insects, which can be bigger in size. They are predated by rodents, spiders, and praying mantis.  

How to attract an Ambush Bug

Ambush Bugs are attracted to bright flowers like goldenrods and sunflowers. They are also found on daisies or white flowers which are beginning to bloom. In order to attract an Ambush Bug, one must plant yellow-colored flowers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including great black wasp, or atlas beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Ambush Bug coloring pages.

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