I must make the following confession, despite the consequences. The following insect was found in my bathroom. And, no, I did not make the discovery myself. Professors aren’t meant to discover insects—it’s not in the job description.
Upon careful inspection, assessment, and examination (the internet helped) I found that the insect is called a Masked Hunter. Now if that doesn’t give you the creeps, I don’t know what will. As I continued to read, it got better.
The Masked Hunter is a predatory bug. It pierces its dinner with sucking mouthparts. Apparently, the Masked Hunter also delivers a painful bite (similar in sensation to a bee sting) if handled or threatened. I’m glad to say that the bug was removed before I had a chance to get myself bit.
I read on, somewhat nervously.
Masked Hunters prey on bed bugs. At this point, I was thinking, “Ahh, good. That’s one pest I won’t have to worry about!” But the post I was reading soon made it quite clear that if there are many Masked Hunters, a numerous food supply exists: bed bugs. I believe at this point I broke out into a cold sweat.
Nonetheless, I read on—dauntless.
Luckily for my health, it turned out that a ‘few’ Masked Hunters are quite common in a home. So, I concluded that until I find around 100 Masked Hunters (a safe number, in my estimation) my home is just fine—no bed bugs, that is. Of course, it was quite a chilling experience.
The above picture is a nymph Masked Hunter. Below is an adult:
Yes, they’re ugly.
As usual on Blatherings, Bartimaeus sends his greetings—this time from Mount Everest. It’s quite hard spotting him in the photo, but he’s there—look closely!