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Assassin bug
Date Issued: 1999-10-01
Postage Value: 33 cents

Commemorative issue
Insects & spiders
Assassin bug

Assassin bugs are appropriately named because of their habit of lying in ambush for their insect prey. With speed and accuracy, this bug uses its long "beak" to stab the victim and then inject it with a lethal toxin that dissolves the victim's tissue, and then it sucks up the liquefied tissues through its long beak. Assassin bugs are aggressive and not afraid to attack creatures much larger than it. They will inflict a very painful bite to humans if handled carelessly, causing a severe reaction in some persons. Most Assassin bugs are found in late June to early August, but can be active year-round in the Central Valley of California. These bugs have a long narrow head, long beak (three-segmented), long slender antennae (four-segmented) and an abdomen often widened at the middle exposing the margins of the segments beyond the wings. An adult may reach ¾-inch long.

Topic: Insects (55)  

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