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ASSASSIN BUG


Meet the “hitman” of insects.  This insect kills ants and then carries them around on his back!

 

Some scientists believe that the insect is carrying the ants on his back as a way to protect himself from predators like  like jumping spiders.

These scientists believe the aptly named assassin bug uses the dead bodies, as a defense mechanism to fend off enemies.  But other scientists believe that the insect is just a vicious killer, who likes to show off his “kills.”

Photographer Hock Ping Guek, from Malaysia, decided to document the amazing camouflage strategy using macro photography.

He said: ‘These assassin bugs are quite small, less than 1 cm, so the camera I used really comes in handy here as it allows me to go beyond the 1:1 maximum limit of the usual macro lenses without the need for any add-on tubes.

 ‘The behavior is indeed absolutely fascinating. They prey on ants, inject enzyme into the ant preys and suck the ants dry, then put the dead bodies on their back for camouflage, most likely as a form of defense against other predator like jumping spiders.

‘I spent about 30 minutes photographing these assassin bugs every time I find one.

‘I try to shoot as many shots as I could from many different angles, and pick only a few that I like best in terms of angle, moment, composition etc.’

Assassin bugs kill in a rather gruesome way by injecting them with an enzyme and then sucking out their insides.

Despite their fearsome reputation the insects are actually quite small measuring just 1cm in length.

Beware the assassin bugs!