Wheel bug in fireplace (Josh, Ohio, USA)

Random insect found in fireplace
Columbus Ohio
Wings as long as body
Unusual dorsal spike shield like area
Never seen one before


Dear Josh,

Here at AntBlog we get lots of questions about ants (surprise) and sometimes other insects and spiders that mimic ants which we love, but it is nice to get questions about other bugs from time to time. Thanks for sending in the photo of the very cool insect you recently found. This certainly helps with identification.

What you have is a wheel bug (see a beautiful photograph of a wheel bug by Alex Wild here).

Wheel bugs (Arilus cristatus) are predatory insects found in the eastern United States. Since these insects prey on other soft bodied insects including many pest species they are considered beneficial. They are easy to identify from the wheel shaped structure found on their thorax (although I have often thought this structure looks more like a cog from a machine than a wheel).

You can read more about them here and here.

Enjoy your great find!
Corrie Moreau & the AntAsk Team

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