Last year, the focus of the Beneficial Insect of the Week was crop pests. This year, we’re changing things up and highlighting the many natural enemies that help you out, silently and efficiently killing off crop pests. [note: featured Insects of the Week in 2015 are available on the Insect of the Week page]
This week’s feature beneficial insect is the Assassin Bug. I love it when a common name is so apt. Assassins (at least in the movies) are guns for hire and they’ll take out whoever is on their list. They’re usually the bad guys but on occasion can be a force for good (e.g. Jason Bourne). Similarly in the insect world, assassin bugs are indiscriminate in who they attack, preying on immature and adult forms of beneficials and pests alike by patiently lying in wait for their target to come within stabbing distance.
For more information about these natural enemies, other pests they control and other important crop and forage insects, see the new Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada - Identification and Management Field Guide for identification, life cycle and conservation options (download links for field guide available on the Insect of the Week page).
Assassin bug (Reduvius personatus), Keith Roragen, Flickr