ou’ve been warned, but for suspense, let’s pretend to be an insect looking for nectar.
“Hey, those mint flowers look tasty.”
“But something feels off – it’s too quiet…”
“Oh no, it’s an ambush!”
The nursery tag said curly spearmint attracts bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, but it failed to mention that it also attracts a lot of ambush bugs (these bugs are so sneaky they even manage to stay out of the press). There are currently over twenty of these hiding out in our mint plant.
Ambush bugs aren’t very big (compared to my fingers), but they can catch a wide variety of insects.
They have powerful front legs, which they use to grab onto their prey.
Their hunting strategy is to hide among flowers and wait for other bugs to wander too close and snatch them.
Wings allow them to quickly find new hiding spots.
Up next are some photos of ambush bugs feeding on prey.
A closer look at that unlucky honeybee from the beginning.
Not being a bee doesn’t mean you’re safe – here is a fly that was caught (the speckled area at the top is the fly’s eye).
Ambush bugs use a piercing mouth part to paralyze victims and then suck out the juices – in this case, juices from the back of a bee.
They even group feed on a single capture.
Be thankful you’re a human. Few insects see this face and live to tell about it.