Our very own Cary Polis showed us this photo at the committee meeting and what a great photo it is. In it you can see an Assassin bug attacking a Dendrobium Beetle on a Neobenthamia gracilis (recent name change back to Polystachya neobenthamia). These are a fantastic bug to have in the garden, or orchid house, as they are great predatory insects.
Interestingly they consume their prey by injecting them with a potent saliva that digests the inside of their prey and is then sucked out through their powerful rostrum (or proboscus, similar to butterfly and moths’ mouthparts). Be careful though, as if handled they will attack humans with a very painful bite.
It would be great if any members that see unusual insects send us more photos, as they are always interesting to learn and talk about, and it’s fascinating to learn about the dynamic ecosystems that evolve in and around our Orchid collections.