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The wheel bug is one of the largest members of the family of insects known as bugs. Most members of the family are predacious on other insects. The adult is brownish-black and about an inch long. It has a distinctive semi-circular crest behind the head, which resembles half a cogwheel (thus the name wheel bug). The long, slender antennae, beak, and ends of the legs are reddish brown. The head is very narrow and slightly constricted behind the eyes forming a slender "neck." Bending down and back from the front of the head is a rigid, 3- segmented beak. The nymphs are small and lack the cogwheel crest. Their abdomens are bright red and curl upward when they are young.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
April 15, 2016