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.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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.

enter image description here

Source: David Larson

enter image description here

Source: Debbie Roos 2005

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

enter image description here

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.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.