So here’s a bug you might not have heard of before: the wheel bug. What is the wheel bug, you may ask? Well, it’s commonly found in many states throughout the US and is also one of the largest, land-inhabiting “true bugs” found in the US (if you want to know what a true bug is- sorry, but you’ll have to look that up yourself!). Personally, I find wheel bugs to be really interesting bugs; they have a wheel-shaped pronotal armor on their backs and can grow to be quite big (up to 1.5 inches). In addition, they are very uncommon since they camouflage so well and also are extremely shy in nature. They also are very clumsy flying insects, which, in my opinion, somewhat adds to their cute and comical image.
Although they may seem stupid and silly on the outside, wheel bugs definitely know how to shatter that assumption. Their bite is lethal for their prey; a wheel bug will inject its beak into its prey, spit out an enzyme that will dissolve the internal organs, and then basically suck the life out of the unfortunate prey (kinda like a spider). As you can probably tell, this makes their bite quite potent for humans as well; a wheel bug bite can take ages to heal and, even then, may leave a scar. Does that fact not add enough to the tough factor for you? Well, in the wild, wheel bugs have also been observed to have cannibalistic characteristics. As if that wasn’t enough to add to their hardcore nature, wheel bugs can also release a putrid smell from the two scent-sacs on their bottoms. They have an entire arsenal of defense mechanisms.
So, there you have it. A brief introduction of a great master of disguise and deceit. If you ever happen to come across a wheel bug, try to observe it instead of killing it. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn some self-defense techniques, haha! (: