predator

Praying mantis

Mantis

Mantis

Here’s another garden beneficial…an interesting, alien looking predator.

A fun fact from the Texas A&M Entomology site:

While they consume pests such as flies, crickets, moths and mosquitoes, they also devour other beneficial insects, including each other. Larger species (especially those in tropical areas) will chow down on lizards, small mammals and even hummingbirds.

Lizards? Small mammals? Even…hummingbirds? WOW!

Predator

  

Spied this guy after I picked a peach. 

 Can you see how huge this thing is? 

 This beastie is a wheel bug…a true bug related to assassin bugs (and stink bugs). 

A real predator. I mean…look at that mouth (apparently, if handled roughly, it gives a painful bite)! 

This true bug is the largest of its kind. It is also the only U.S. insect with a crest. Thankfully, it likes to stab and inject a paralytic toxin into soft-bodied insects like caterpillars and garden pests such as bean beetles. They like to hangout in fruit trees (thus the discovery in one of peach trees). 

A remarkable creature and an interesting find. Welcome to the orchard and garden(s)…eat all you want.

Great info from Tx A&M and from the U of Florida about this beneficial bug.