It’s a trap!

Yesterday, I was poking around a small bush of white flowers looking for insects to photograph. I noticed this butterfly hanging from the bottom of a flower, rather than sitting on top:

What are you doing under there?

I panned around to underneath the flower and found out why:

Unlucky butterfly.

The butterfly had been snared by an ambush bug (Phymatinae), which is a subgroup of assassin bugs (Reduviidae). I think the above animal is a nymph belonging to the genus Phymata. These bugs hang out underneath flower petals until unweary pollinators visit. They then lunge out and snare their prey with their enlarged raptorial appendages, piercing the exoskeleton with a syringe like rostrum.

Here is an adult of the same, or a similar, species. About one of every three flowers in this bush had an ambush bug laying in wait below.

Phymata sp

'Come a bit closer my pretties.'

If any insect-gurus can identify this exact species, it would be much appreciated.

Advertisements

15 Responses to “It’s a trap!”


  1. 1 myrmecos July 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Ha! That last shot is really something- reminds me of a cat.

  2. 2 devin mccourty July 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Are you much of a lepidopterist – Butterfly enthusiast? Is so what’s your favorite Butterfly

    • 3 Mike Bok July 23, 2010 at 2:30 am

      Unfortunately, not really. I’m a Stomatopodist, if anything. Lepidoptera is a cool group though. Very interesting visual ecology work being done on them…

  3. 4 Mike Lisieski July 23, 2010 at 12:02 am

    What great shots!

    I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to procrastinate with at the lab tomorrow, but now I have some papers on Reduviidae biology.

  4. 5 DNLee July 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Great photo catch!
    and the flower – Daisy Flea Bane I am sure.

  5. 6 Joy K. August 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    That bug is AMAZING!!! Where was the picture taken? I’m desperately hoping these are found in Texas. Love the third picture: it’s got armor and camouflage and even some fashion sense!

  6. 8 joan knapp August 12, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    This is a great bug. I’m going to be on the lookout for it too… Thanks for introducing me to it.

  7. 9 ElytraGJ September 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    this bug (3rd photo) rather reminds of some sort of a dinosaur ! 🙂

    nice pics, Mike

    I’m glad I found your blog too – adding it to my Blogroll now

  8. 11 cheap nfl Jerseys paypal August 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Now relax, I will give you a nice mood. The Nike cheap nfl jerseys
    wholesale Speed Turf: Cushioning and supportWith a
    midfoot strap and Max Air unit and then a smoother range of movement can be called good shoes.
    Autumn wants to be a matter, using this individual latest
    colorway arranging kind of covert rolling all around in its placing on that
    articles. Click here for images of the Nike Air Darwin men’s basketball shoe brings hoops style from the courts to the streets.

  9. 12 Erik February 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  10. 13 Milagro February 25, 2014 at 4:03 am

    I think everything said made a bunch of sense.
    But, think on this, suppose you were to write a awesome
    headline? I ain’t saying your information isn’t solid, but what if you
    added a post title to possibly grab people’s attention? I mean Its a trap!
    | Arthropoda is kinda boring. You ought to glance at Yahoo’s home page and note how they write article titles to grab viewers
    to click. You might add a related video or a related pic or two to grab people excited about what you’ve
    got to say. In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

  11. 14 Stepanie March 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will make
    sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back someday.
    I want to encourage one to continue your great posts,
    have a nice afternoon!


  1. 1 CotS 53: Spineless Specialties Menu Trackback on August 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




I have moved.
Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

Flickr Photos

Johanneksenkirkko with a firey sunset.

Frozen Gulf of Finland

20161225-IMG_1292.jpg

20161225-IMG_1282.jpg

20161225-IMG_1184.jpg

20161225-IMG_1175.jpg

20161224-IMG_1146.jpg

Nudibranch from Lizard Island

20161225-IMG_1294.jpg

Bringing in the catch

More Photos

%d bloggers like this: