Rhode Island is not just home to a diverse population of famous celebrities, questionably truthful politicians, and fascinating locals. The state is also home to a diverse population of creepy insects. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be bugs that are unique to your region and it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. Here are 11 bugs found in Rhode Island that are as interesting as they are freaky.
1. American Pelecinid Wasp
You might think the tail on these wasps are used for stinging, but don't worry, that's not their primary purpose. It's much more disgusting than that. These bugs use their tail, which is actually their abdomen, to lay eggs inside of grubs. The egg eventually hatches into a baby bug, which would be cute aside from the fact that it then uses the poor unsuspecting grub as food. I don't know about you, but my initial creep factor has successfully been replaced with nausea.
2. Arrow-Shaped Micrathena
These tiny red spiders are easy to miss even though they're often hiding in plain sight. If you do happen to see one and aren't too creeped out, the vibrant colors are quite striking.
3. Assassin Bug
Assassin Bugs feed on other insects using their sharp beaks. Humans beware! Their sting packs a painful punch.
4. Bark Crab Spider
Bark Crab Spiders are named after their crab-like movements and can walk sideways and backwards. They are fierce hunters and do not rely on their webs to catch their prey.
5. Black Widow
Black Widows might be the most famous bug on this list. Like many other insects found on this post, they are not exclusive to Rhode Island, but have been known to cause some problems in the state. These creatures are not only famous for their dangerous venom, but also for their habit of eating the male following mating. Romantic? Not so much.
6. Cow Killer
Often mistaken for ants, these uniquely colored wasps pack a mean punch. Their powerful stings are not only incredibly painful, but have been rumored to kill cows! Not intimidated yet? There's more. The females lay their eggs in a bumble bee hive, and once hatched, they eat the larvae of the bumble bees until venturing out to continue this pattern.
7. Eastern Harvestman
These arachnids might be startling due to their long legs, but lucky for us humans, they are totally harmless. In fact, they help our species by taking care of other pests for us.
8. Evergreen Bagworm Moth
Next time you assume the wind is causing that nearby pinecone to move, think again. These strange moths spend a good portion of their lives living in cocoons covered in plant matter that blend in with the trees. Home sweet home?
9. Masked Hunter
The Masked Hunter is another example of an Assassin Bug with a sharp beak known to cause us humans some grief. They eat bed bugs, earwigs, and other pests, and can only be eliminated through destroying their food source. Think they look a little extraterrestrial? That's because dust and lint tends to stick to their bodies.
10. Wheel Bug
This creepy bug is named after its spiny wheel found on its back and preys on other insects. Its deadly weapon is a large fang on the top of its head that it uses to repeatedly stab its victims. Humans beware, this thing doesn't discriminate based on species and should probably be avoided at all costs.
11. The Big Blue Bug
We couldn't leave the Big Blue Bug out of this post about Rhode Island bugs. This classic Rhody insect is a popular mascot found on I-95. It has been known to wear sunglasses and reindeer antlers depending on the season, as well as drink Awful Awful and Del's lemonade on occasion. Fear not, it is not harmful to humans and has even become a local celebrity!
While I in no way want to pass any judgement on entomologists and other bug enthusiasts, I will definitely be running in the opposite direction if I encounter any of these bugs found in Rhode Island, or elsewhere. Can you think of any other terrifying creepy crawlies found in Little Rhody?