On the way into the main garden this afternoon, I spotted colorado potato beetle larvae chomping about in the potato patch.
and adult beetles:
I spotted Japanese beetles in the nearby Borage.
I noted to myself that I would need to do something about these voracious critters after tying up the tomatoes. I followed up by getting a small bucket of soapy water (and my gardening gloves for optimal squishing if need be.) As I proceeded to flip beetle babies to their soapy demise, I saw this:
And this formidable creature is an assassin bug and it is eating an adult Colorado Potato Beetle. It does so, according to wiki, by using its “long rostrum to inject a lethal saliva that liquefies the insides of the prey, which are then sucked out.” Mmmmmm.
And then I saw another assassin bug eating a potato beetle. Maybe my bucket of soapy water and I were not needed after all. I am seeing many assassin bugs and I’m happy for their assistance. They are known to eat many of the undesired garden insects such as potato beetles, japanese beetles, and squash bugs. They will eat the occasional friend from time to time such as the honeybee. They are, also, known to give a painful bite if mishandled so I will take care as I move through my plants.
What a bug!