Jagged Ambush Bugs - Stealthy Predators

Jagged Ambush Bugs ~ Phymata species
If you look closely on your flowering plants in full sun you'll most likely find an Ambush Bug lying in wait. These amazing predators look harmless at first with their lacy appearance and beautiful coloring.

On closer inspection though, you'll notice their enlarged forelegs with a "sickle-like tibiae, greatly reduced tarsi and huge swollen femora." (Insects Their Natural History and Diversity)
The coloring on Ambush bugs makes them extremely well camouflaged in amongst flowers. As their victims come in to nectar on flowers (most often bees and flies) they impale them with their long tubular mouthparts. These mouthparts are usually tucked up underneath their bodies when not in use.

"The Jagged Ambush Bug overwinters as an adult and lays eggs in the spring. Adults mature during summer." (Insects of the North Woods)

Have you seen Ambush Bugs in your landscape?