Red Spot Assassin Bugs Care Guide
The Red spot assassin bug is a tenacious hunter that farmers and garden owners love having around as they help control crop-damaging pests.
The Platymeris Rhadamanthus, also known as the Red spot assassin bug, belongs to the family of Reduviidae. This nocturnal predator has a needle-like mouth that is used to inject its venomous juices into other insects or to suck out juices from plants.
This bug mainly feeds on small invertebrates and plants; its sharp stilets in its rostrum pierce the exoskeleton of prey which weakens them. Its bite on human skin is more painful than a bee sting.
They make an exciting and interesting exhibit but are not for children since they can sting and release a noxious fluid which can be painful when it gets into the human eyes.
Size, Behavior, And Appearance
It comes with a striking red-on-black coloration that wards off potential attackers. They come in size 3.8-4centimeters which is approximately 1.5-1.6 inches.
They have been named assassin bugs because they often hide and ambush their prey. Most of them are slow-moving and non-aggressive but can sting if handled carelessly.
The whole body is black and has red spots on the hemelytra; its legs are hairy and the femur is covered with a red band.
Its venomous saliva can travel toward an attacker as far as 12inches(30cm); the saliva contains lytic substance a that can digest some insects.
They are usually kept in dozens of varying ages. They are less prone to cannibalism than other species. Their eggs can take up to 6-9 months to hatch, and their adults can live up to two(2) years.
Caring For Red Spot Assassin Bug
You can preserve this Red spot assassin bug in a transparent plastic container. The container should have a strong lid to close it as it can often escape from the enclosure. You can also choose to place a heat mat at the back of the container.
They are known to be ferocious hunters but live well in a colony. Do not put different species together in an enclosure, it is not recommended.
Ensure you adhere to some ground rules like; do not try to handle them with your hands, and use plastic pots to move them around. Be careful when cleaning the enclosure because their sting can be very painful.
Use vermiculite and coir with a depth of 4cm. Place pieces of egg trays and barks on the enclosure or tank, this will aid them to hide under.
This red spot assassin loves to be warm, ensure the enclosure has a damp and dry area if possible. Also, ensure there is sufficient ventilation.
They love to feed on smaller insects. You should feed them at least once or twice a week with small creatures. Crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, maggots, hatching flies, and waxworms give it all the nutrients and calcium it needs.
If you choose to feed them with caterpillars, ensure that they have no contact with any pesticides or fertilizers.
Note that if they are deprived of meals, they may begin to prey on each other, so a steady food supply should be made available.
Temperature And Humidity
The ideal temperature for these Red spot assassin bugs is between 68-75°F(20-24°C). This is the normal room temperature in most climates. The humidity level should be above 60%.
Are They Good Feeders?
Yes, they are. Their natural diet is caterpillars, mealworms, waxworms, and crickets. Younger bugs enjoy eating fruit flies until they are mature enough to feed on crickets.