Biology

Masked hunters, along with other bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis. This means they hatch from eggs in a juvenile form known as the nymph.

As they grow the nymphs pass through stages of development (called instars), shedding their skin until they reach the fully mature and winged adult form.

The nymphs of the masked hunter use special structures on their hind legs called tarsal fans to coat themselves with dust particles. Special hair-like growths called trichomes cover the body and exude a sticky substance that ensures particles adhere to the insect.

This provides an effective camouflage in tracking down their prey.

They feed on a wide array of household insect pests, such as:

  • bedbugs
  • silverfish
  • booklice
  • flies

They have the potential for use as a biological control agent for such infestations, although the practicality of this is uncertain.

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