I have found in a wooden house, in the mountains of central Spain this very curious insect:

Strange Insect

I was wondering if that was its skin or whether it's decomposition or sand or saw-dust. That particular region of Spain does have stink-bugs ... but this one doesn't look like anything I've seen before. A google image search returns mostly arachnids ... but it seems to have only 6 legs.

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Identifying an insect looking like a crumle $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater - Wow, good catch! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ The insect in the related question looks quite different. Is it maybe a different species of Masked Hunter? Or at a different age? (When compared side by side, imgur.com/a/ovpRW, and given they were in different countries, I'm not sure if I would have recognized it) $\endgroup$
    – Massagran
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater I see what you mean, but the format of anongoodnurse's answer is better than the accepted and upvoted answer on the prior question. If the questions can be moderator merged so that this answer appears on the other, then I would agree with the close, otherwise I think it should stay open. Also it is a bit difficult to identify by search if you don't know where to start. $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 2:07

2 Answers 2


It's a kind of assassin bug, specifically a Masked Hunter:

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The surface of an immature Masked Hunter is sticky and it attracts lint and dust which helps to camouflage this predator.


The name refers to the fact that its nymph camouflages itself with dust.

Though they feed on small insects, they will bite defensively, and when they do, it's fairly painful.


I recognize it as a species of "wheel-bug" or, as others have noted, a species of assassin-bug. (I don't know the specific species, though; sorry.)

These predators have a vicious "bite" using hypodermic mouth-parts, and some routinely inject a type of enzyme in the "venom/saliva" that causes great burning or pain; the compound is intended to help the creature suck the internal organs out of "prey" creatures. Depending on the species' size, these may even kill and consume young frogs and toads.

As noted by others, the younger ones stick soil, plant-matter and other material to their exoskeleton as camouflage. This is because, in part, they are cannibalistic; parents and elders have no compunctions about eating their smaller offspring. Of course; if the youngsters get a chance, they will dine on their parents or elders, too.

Aside from some wasps that lay eggs on the paralyzed bodies of spiders, these insects are one of a very limited number of species that will often actively hunt down and prey on spiders.


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