I was wondering what kind of insect this was that I found on a flower on my deck this morning?


The insect was in my flower pot on my deck. I took the picture from my cell phone and zoomed in for a clearer shot. The body of the insect (not counting the antennae) was about an inch.

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    $\begingroup$ Please provide your location, approx size of the insect, and any better photos if you have them. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2017 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


This is a nymph of some species of Hemiptera, or true bug.

Specifically, this appears to be the nymph stage of a wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) or some other species in the family Reduviidae.

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Source: David Larson

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Source: Debbie Roos 2005

Here is a picture of an adult (with name-sake dorsal wheel):

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Source: Donald W. Hall

You'll notice that the nymph is quite different looking:

Nymphs have been described in detail by Readio (1927). Smaller nymphs are bright red with black marks. The last instar nymphs are darker. Nymphs lack the "wheel" or crest. For a diagnostic key to identify nymphs of the family Reduviidae to genus (including Arilus), see Fracker and Usinger (1949). [Source].

  • If you're truly interested in accurately IDing to genus/species, you might check out Fracker & Usinger 1949$^1$, Herring & Ashlock 1971$^2$, or papers that cite their work.

You can find more information about A. cristatus here.


  1. Fracker S.B. & Usinger, R.L. 1949. The generic identification of Nearctic reduviid nymphs (Hemiptera). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 42: 273-278.

  2. Herring, J.L. & Ashlock, P.D. 1971. A Key to the Nymphs of the Families of Hemiptera (Heteroptera) of America North of Mexico. Florida Entomologist 54: 207-212.


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