Where to find Wheel Bugs?

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
Hola! I was searching the web today and saw someone with assasin bugs in their collection. This made me remember way back to when I found a wheel bug or Arilus cristatus. I know you can find them in North America, but I have never seen one since I was 5. Does anyone sell, keep, or breed them? And if so, how are they cared for? I'd really want to care for one of them, but I have no idea about longevity, growth, care, etc.

Thanks for reading, Abyss
 

Formerphobe

Arachnoking
Joined
Feb 27, 2011
Messages
2,342
I see them in my yard and occasionally on the deck. Never tried to keep any captive.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Jun 27, 2010
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2,060
I was lucky enough to get a few from somebody last year. They are not long-lived, hatching, growing, mating, and dying all in less than a single year, but still pretty cool to have. Unfortunately, I was not able to get them to breed, so I'm going to be watching for some new ones this spring. Right now it's a bit early for them, unless somebody finds a few eggs in their yard or garden. In a few months, as the weather starts warming up, the nymphs will begin popping up.

They're easy enough to care for - a small cage or deli cup with good ventilation and a little substrate of some sort (dirt, coconut fiber, moss, or whatever), a little water every few days for humidity and drinking water, and feed them fruit flies or aphids (as nymphs) and crickets (when they get older) several times a week.
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
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Nov 25, 2011
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4,158
Care is simple, breeding is another matter. I don't think anyone can get them to breed for more then a generation or two before they die off. @Lucanus95 would know much more than me though since he has kept lots of the native US reduviids.
 
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WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
I was lucky enough to get a few from somebody last year. They are not long-lived, hatching, growing, mating, and dying all in less than a single year, but still pretty cool to have. Unfortunately, I was not able to get them to breed, so I'm going to be watching for some new ones this spring. Right now it's a bit early for them, unless somebody finds a few eggs in their yard or garden. In a few months, as the weather starts warming up, the nymphs will begin popping up.

They're easy enough to care for - a small cage or deli cup with good ventilation and a little substrate of some sort (dirt, coconut fiber, moss, or whatever), a little water every few days for humidity and drinking water, and feed them fruit flies or aphids (as nymphs) and crickets (when they get older) several times a week.
Awesome to hear that people do keep them ;) I just remember that these were some of the first bugs that started my early intrest in them. Seems they are seasonal (not too many breeders most likely) Will probably post an ad in the classifieds, hear you can find them in Florida, where it is pretty great year round. Might be a chance there :D Really love their look, but the "bite" seems to be pretty bad. Not that I would hold them, but never knew... Thanks for the info! Will definitly keep looking later this Summer.
 

Acro

I Want A Golden Goose!
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
221
Maybe 6 to 8 years ago I was able to raise a large group of WC wheel bugs form nymphs to adults. They were able to breed and produce eggs that did hatch. Unfortunately I did not have fruit flies or pin head crickets available to keep the nymphs alive. I have known other people who were able to breed wheel bugs too.

I always found them in scrubby areas, I've even seen them around gardens and on the side of my girlfriend's house here in GA. This time of year is when you should be able to find nymphs (at least here in the warm South).

Good Luck! :D
 

Salmon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2017
Messages
46
Anywhere you find flying pollinators or crawling plant pests, you're likely to find wheel bugs. I've collected them for dead display for a few summers and never gotten bit, but they apparently can pack a nasty punch, like most assassins. My entomology prof usually warned us about the spurs on the back rather than the stinger--it's sharp enough to draw blood!
 
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