jagged ambush bugs

(Phymata spp.)

               
Overview

Phymata is a genus of ambush bugs known as jagged ambush bugs. There are 109 described species of jagged ambush bugs worldwide, 17 species in North America north of Mexico, and just 2 species in Minnesota. A much needed revision of this genus would probably result in many fewer species. Jagged ambush bugs are found on flowers in open and semi-open areas. The feed on small insects and other arthropods, including bumble bees, wasps, and flies, sometimes capturing prey much larger than themselves.

jagged ambush bug (Phymata sp.)

  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
Identification

Most adults are 5 16 to ½ (8 to 12 mm) in length. They are well camouflaged with dark markings on a greenish-yellow or brownish-yellow ground color. The antennae have four segments and are slightly thickened at the end. The protruding mouthparts (beak) is short, has three segments, and is optimized for sucking. The exoskeletal plate between the wing bases (scutellum) is triangular and much shorter than the plate covering the thorax (pronotum). The abdomen is diamond-shaped, widest toward the rear, and has a flattened, greatly enlarged margin. The hardened forewings (elytra) are held flat when at rest and cover only the middle of the abdomen. leaving the sides exposed. The third segment (femur) of the front legs is swollen with muscles that allow it to seize and hold prey.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids and allies)

 

No Rank:

Euhemiptera

 

No Rank:

Neohemiptera

 

No Rank:

Prosorrhyncha

 

Suborder:

Heteroptera (true bugs)

 

No Rank:

Euheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Neoheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Panheteroptera

 

Infraorder:

Cimicomorpha (thaumastocorid bugs)

 

Superfamily:

Reduvioidea

 

Family:

Reduviidae (assassin bugs)

 

Subfamily:

Phymatinae (ambush bugs)

 

Tribe:

Phymatini

 

Genus:

Phymata (jagged ambush bugs)

   
 

The genus Phymata was formerly placed in its own family, Phymatidae.

 
Subordinate Taxa

jagged ambush bug (Phymata americana)

jagged ambush bug (Phymata erosa)

jagged ambush bug (Phymata fasciata)

Pennsylvania ambush bug (Phymata pennsylvanica)

 
Synonyms

Syrtis

 
Common
Names

jagged ambush bug

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Beak

On plants: A comparatively short and stout, narrow or prolonged tip on a thickened organ, as on some fruits and seeds. On insects: The protruding, tubular mouthpart of a sucking insect.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  jagged ambush bug (Phymata sp.)    
       
       
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Other Videos
 
  Jagged Ambush Bug (Reduviidae: Phymata) Feeding on Bumble Bee
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Aug 20, 2010

Ambush Bugs are amazing predators! This patient female Phymata has caught and subdued a Tricolored Bumble Bee, a prey item that is clearly several times larger than itself. Photographed at the Kellys Slough NWR, North Dakota (19 August 2010). Go here to learn more about this unique insect: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/Galveston/beneficials/beneficial-10_jagged_ambush_bug_(Phymata_sp.).htm

   
       
  Close-up To A Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.)
adamitshelanu
 
   
 
About

Dec 6, 2014

Close-up To A Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.)

Uncle Steve finds a Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.) in his yard.

It most likely is:

P. pennsylvanica
or
P. americana

Date: 22 SEPTEMBER 2014

[vado-g3 avidemux-64bit audacity irfanview]

   
       
  AMBUSH BUG Phymata, unmoved by sweet nothings
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Sep 29, 2019

Phymata AMBUSH BUG mating pair, unmoved by sweet nothings murmured. Montrose Point, Chicago, 9/7/2019.

   
       
  Jagged Ambush Bug (Reduviidae: Phymata) Male and Female
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Aug 1, 2010

Photographed at Kelly Slough NWR, North Dakota (31 July 2010).

   
       

 

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Alfredo Colon
8/2/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

jagged ambush bug (Phymata sp.)


     
     
 
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Created: 10/23/2020

Last Updated:

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