Bonafide Farm

Beautiful bug: Wheel bug

June 28th, 2014 § 2

This is a nymph form of the Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus), which I found perched on an almost-blooming thistle in my “wildflower meadow.” The nymphs appear in mid-June, and when they molt they will emerge brilliant coral with the characteristic wheel-shaped ridge on the back. About twenty minutes after molting, the Wheel Bug will turn from pink to grey.


Wheel Bugs, which are members of the Assassin Bug family, are incredibly beneficial to have in your garden as they prey on all sorts of pests including members of the dreaded stink bug family (harlequin bugs, squash bugs, brown marmorated stink bugs, etc.), which really decimate my garden. However, you don’t want to get bitten by an Assassin Bug—it is supposedly ten times more painful than a bee sting. So give these guys a wide berth when you find them, but definitely keep them around!

Tagged: , , , , ,

§ 2 Responses to “Beautiful bug: Wheel bug”

  • Dani says:

    Oh, a WHEEL BUG! I’ve never ever seen one. Your blogpost prompted me to go read up on them. Thrilling and a bit scary, but I want them to visit my garden. :)

    Thankfully only two stink bugs have made themselves known in the garden so far this year. I pinched them with my bare fingers – YUCK! My gloves were not handy. An assassin bug would have been a dandy visitor at the time.

    Thank you again for the wonderful pictures and stories.


  • Bonafide Farmer says:

    And thank you for reading, Dani! I hope you get all the wheel bugs you desire–at a safe distance, of course!

  • § Leave a Reply

What's this?

You are currently reading Beautiful bug: Wheel bug at Bonafide Farm.