Horrida Assassin Bugs Care Guide
This insect is commonly called the giant spiny assassin bug, the horrid king assassin, or the horrida assassin bug. Its botanical name is psytalla horrida.
It is the largest species of all the assassin bugs in the world, this insect resides in rotten timber and trees during the day and then comes; this insect resides in rotten timber and trees during the day and then comes out at night to forage for its prey.
They have various defenses when faced with any form of threat; they can inject their prey/tyrants with a powerful venom using its stiff rostrum.
The horrida assassin bug can live for as long as two(2) years. These insects are best viewed and observed while wearing eye protection glasses to avoid being sprayed with their venom.
Appearance, Behavior, And Size
This colossal and grisly insect is mostly covered in warning colors; the basic color of its body is black, while the other parts are covered in black and red which are found mostly on the edge of the abdomen.
It has a body length of 3-4.5cm. They are characterized mainly by a narrow neck, an elongated head, and a rigid, segmented, and tubular mouth part. It furthermore has long and thin antennae, long legs with a red tibia then a red and black femur.
For female species, the abdomen is so smooth, while the male horrida assassin bug has a round growth on the abdomen.
These terrestrial predators are known to live in dead trees during the daytime, and only come out at night to feed on unlucky prey; injecting their prey its deadly venom with their rigid rostrum and also spraying noxious fluid that is slightly harmful.
If they are kept together in groups and are underfed, they will start feasting on themselves(they can be cannibalistic).
Caring For The Horrida Assassin Bugs
These insects like to live in dry environmental conditions making them easy to conserve. They are not meant to be lifted with bare hands as their bites are as painful as a bee sting.
You can choose to use a transparent plastic container that comes with a secured lid. Once they are preserved inside the enclosure, do not stress them so they can get used to their new home.
Although they do not need a substrate if you insist the substrate should consist of a water bowl, and various pieces of cork bark to hide under.
For the female horrida assassin bug, the substrate should be filled with moist sand as they will be laying eggs on the substrate. Dead insects should be discarded quickly to avoid infestation of mites or mold growth.
Ensure there is enough ventilation provided for the bug and always sterilize any wild tree bark to avoid different organisms that might cause fungi and bacteria infestation.
Although cannibalism is rare, they are seen as live invertebrates. They feed on soft-bodied prey closest to them. They might succeed in attacking prey that is larger than them by injecting their venom and digestive juices into their prey.
Temperature And Humidity
They thrive best with low humidity of about 70%-80%, while the temperature level should be about 24°C-28°C.
They prefer to live in a dry environment, but you can occasionally spray their enclosures with water; just place a small bowl of water in the container/enclosure.
Are They Good Feeders?
Yes, they are. They have varieties of diets such as roaches, crickets, super worms, mealworms, etc. Their diet should be mixed consistently to keep them healthy.
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