Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.
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I found these weird bugs on my favorite tree. Does anyone know what these are? Are they "good bugs" or "bad bugs"? They look evil. Especially with that queen-like one in the middle...

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Assassin bugs I'm pretty sure. They eat aphids (aburamushi), and other bugs. Some suck the blood of birds or mammals.

So if thats a chestnut (kuri no ki) tree I would say they are good bugs. Just sucking the life out of all them black abura mushi, on the dark side of the ki.

Cool. Thanks! I'm glad I didn't kill them.

I saw these articles in the NY Times this week about how these beetles are starting to infest trees in Central Park:

More info on the Asian Longhorned Beetle:

I hope these aren't harmful to your trees!

Yep, I'd agree with that ID. What's really cool about these bugs is that they eat/kill through a proboscis that they keep tucked under their body. You think they look evil now? Just wait until you watch them skewer a real garden pest! It will make you glad you're not an insect.

Yup, assassin bugs, or サシガメ in Japanese. I wouldn't kill them; they are predators who'll attack tree pests like worms, aphids...

They look pretty similar to big flying stinkbugs that we have in Texas. We call 'em 'chinche' in Spanish and they will spray you with stinky pee if they feel threatened. OTW pretty harmless.

My first time at this blog. I must say, Joi, you have a lot of people who know a lot about bugs coming to your site.
Not sure if that's good or bad, yet. I'll stick around and find out. ;)

So it definitely looks like an Assassin Bug, but some appear to be human bloodsuckers, and some just eat bugs. Any idea know what kind mine are?

Sorry for being a pest. Joi, they are your bugs. Kill them or leave them alone. Get over it. :)-

Methinks leave them alone. They are harmless to us specis.

;-) yes. I've decided to leave them alone. I Googled around in Japanese and they appear not to be native to Japan, but the single type that exists in Japan is a pest killer, not a bloodsucker.

Assassin ninja bugs are soooooo sweet!

I googled "weird bugs," got to your flickr page, and was able to i.d. the bug I caught today--a wheel bug, which is a type of assassin bug. It's pretty camera-shy. And I thought pinning it down (verbally) would be difficult.

hee hee hee hee hee hee hee more bug pictures to send to my friends! thanks!

they are bad bugs, they eat the tree.I have some in my tree.

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