A woman in Australia made worldwide viral headlines this week with a short clip of an enormous spider hovering inches from her head on the ceiling of her car as she motored along. We may have found her equal in a former Mohawk Valley resident.

Patti Robinson, who recently moved out of the Utica area and relocated to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, had an amazing encounter with a large bug. And unlike the Aussie woman, Patti was quite comfortable (see pictures above and below).

Credit: Patti Robinson

Without knowing what type of creature this was, Patti let it crawl onto her hand. Later, using a shoot-first-ask-questions-later strategy, she posted pictures on Facebook and wondered if it looked familiar.

Yes, it turned out. According to one Facebook observer, the prehistoric-looking critter is a wheel bug or assassin bug. Its prey is other bugs.

The "wheel" in its name comes from its unique spiked, dorsal crest (below), which it uses as a defense mechanism against predators.

Credit: Patti Robinson

According to Wikipedia, its bite "is generally considered to be of greater severity...than the sting of common insects like wasps. The resulting wound is...extremely painful...accompanied by...numbness which can persist for days."

Patti was not bitten. The wheel bug did not survive. Some Facebook commenters said they would NEVER have allowed it to climb onto their hands--especially without identifying it. How about you?

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