Black Corsair

So, you're out with your chainsaw clearing hazard trees off your newly cut trail. You bend down to roll an old, rotted log off the trail and it breaks. Inside you discover this attractive looking insect. Quick! Do you pick it up for a closer look?

NO! At least I wouldn't (Treebeard will pick up just about anything). This is a black corsair, Melanolestes picipes, one of the assassin bugs. It can inflict a nasty bite from what I've read. The ever intrepid Treebeard wanted a closer look, so of course he picked it up. Luckily he was careful and the bug was cold and didn't bite him, but it did release a foul smelling chemical. Somewhat reminiscent of a dirty, wet dog.

Ah, the wonders found in rotting logs.
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Anonymous said...

Oooo...creepy looking bug. My son was reading over my shoulder and said, "Hey! Treebeard!" (He loves LOTR) I told him that's what you call your husband, and he thought that was awesome.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I imagine he has a long mouthpart for injecting and digesting his dinner (or your finger)? Like a wheel bug?
Good thing he was cold!

swamp4me said...

It was a pretty cool bug. I'm glad your son likes the name I've given my husband - the world needs more Treebeards :)

Bugs are great, but I always try to give that piercing mouthpart a wide berth. Apparently they inject some pretty potent enzymes. Plus, I've been bitten by water bugs in the past and man, it hurts!

Texas Travelers said...

Nice photograph. Looks like a female since it has stunted, non-functional wings.
I've seen enough, I'm adding you to my 'Nature Blogs' blogroll. Great site and really good photographs.

Marvin said...

Great shot of the female Black Corsair. I just made a
blog post
featuring a male. I've provided a link to this post in case anyone wants to have a look at a female.