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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Anthony Zerafa

Highland Grove, ON, Canada


This young Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) has picked up an unexpected hitchhiker on its back: the nymph of an assassin bug (Zelus luridus). The back of an insectivorous bird is probably not the most desirable location for this bug to be.


Unexpected Hitchhiker

Can you spot the assassin bug nymph, perched on the vireo's back?

5 replies on “Unexpected Hitchhiker”

How funny, and awesome that you noticed! The prey hiding on the predator…. perfect hiding place. I love your image, it’s very beautiful and detailed.

Anthony Zerafa says:

Thank you! I did not notice the insect for many months after I took this photo.

Your welcome, you deserved a comment on that unique image of yours!

Donna Barski says:

It took me a few seconds to find the bug you wrote about in your description. Thanks for the l hint or it might have taken me a months to notice the little critter too!

Great to see a good detailed close-up of the vireo and the “unexpected hitch-hiker.” Now I know that its legs and toes are a pretty blue.


Anthony Zerafa says:

Thank you! In August it was common to see immature Red-eyed Vireos travelling together in groups at this location.

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