Venus Flytrap Helping a Boxelder Bug

Yesterday my neighbor Al and I saw this Boxelder Bug walking on my Venus Flytrap.  We kept expecting it to get caught, but then Al noticed that the Boxelder Bug seemed to be feeding on whatever was inside the flytrap mouth.

Look closely at the photo (click on it to zoom in).  It looks like the bug has injected its feeding tube into the flytrap’s prey.  Boxelder Bugs normally feed by pressing this tube into a plant and sucking the juices out like a straw.  Has anyone ever seen this before?

UPDATE- Arthur V. Evans, an entomologist (among other noble pursuits according to his website-check out his boxelder article), took a look for me and agrees it is a Boxelder Bug.  But, he said that these bugs do not eat other insects.  So, I’m still not sure what it was eating inside the flytrap, but whatever it was it liked it.  It spent a few minutes there.

Check out what else is on the invertebrate menu at:

  1. Not sure what’s going on here. The bug looks more like a largid than a rhopalid. Do you have any shots of the top side of the bug? Both bug families are herbivorous.

  2. Whatever is going on here is very interesting. I think if you keep watching the plants you are very likely to see this behavior again. Maybe you’ll get an even better look.

  3. The flytrap occludes the proboscis too much for me to infer that it is actually piercing the insect. It could merely be feeding on the interior of the flytrap, so I would entertain that hypothesis as an alternative. I would imagine that boxelder bugs seize upon every opportunity to feed along clefts and other areas that allow them easier access to plant juices simply by nature.

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