Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday: Masked Hunter (Reduvius personatus)

It's about time for Horrifying Tuesday right? Today, we're going to talk about one of the most devious insects we've ever come across. So it's pretty much just another day at Skyakes. Today's creature is the Masked Hunter, which actually closely resemble it's name, unlike other lamer creatures. This creature is probably one of the most "resourceful" insects we've had on Horrifying Tuesday and while it doesn't run around shooting pure acid at people, it's pretty creepy to think that these guys could be anywhere.

The Masked Hunter is an insect belonging to the assassin bug family, so you can probably guess that it's highly trained in tactical insurgence and being awesome with sunglasses. The bug itself is generally dark brown (to black), and can reach up to 22 mm. The insect is a short stubby three-segmented bug that somewhat resembles giant cockroaches. So far, it doesn't sound too impressive.

"I am disappoint."

What's special about this bug is that it can figuratively blend into any environment regardless of the color of the bug. Which means it could be standing around a Twilight party and look exactly like a pre-adolescent teen. The Masked Hunter have special nymphs that secrete sticky substances. These sticky substances cover their entire body, antennae and all. The sticky substances allows dust, lint, and other small particles to stick to the their body. What they have essentially, is a naturally created camouflage suit.

Who needs advanced technology when you can sweat sticky substances?

Since whatever touches them sticks on, small bits of local gravel and sand sticks on to their body, allowing "color change" on demand. The creature doesn't simply use it's camouflage to hide from predators and cry in a corner alone, they use it to help them hunt some of the most vile creatures in the world. The bed bug.

"Hello my good friend!"

These little buggers attack and kill common pests such as woodlice, earwigs, and bed bugs. But again, that doesn't mean they'll going to crawl up in fetal position every time a human walks by. These bugs can easily attack a human in self-defense and their bites can be extremely painful and is comparable to a bee's sting. The bite may result in swelling that can last up to seven days, luckily they don't transmit any diseases and medical attention is rarely needed. Thankfully, they usually stick to what they know.

Literally. (Pun intended)

Their camouflage helps avoid detection from predators and prey, thus allowing proper assassin awesomeness.  They generally tend to hunt bedbugs the same time bedbugs go out to hunt their sleeping foes, at night. We can probably assume a hardcore battle scene with wrist-knives and 300-styled fight scenes.

Pictured: Reduvius Personatus

Sadly, they tend to prefer drier habitats and most likely will stay away from the city. When in homes however, they usually are usually found in small numbers when they "infest" houses. But then again, anything is better than a bedbug infestation right?