Assassin bugs

9/2/2011 12:48:53 AM

Assassin bugs belong to the insect family Reduviidae. The larger species is capable of inflicting a painful bite and injecting a harmful defensive fluid if handled. They are medium to large bugs (1-2 cm in length) and have a narrow head with large eyes and a short, curved beak. They are often dull black or brown, with red or orange stripes or markings. The young (nymphs) resemble the adults but do not have wings.

Facts:

  • Lay their eggs in a cluster on leaf surfaces.
  • Have mouthparts adapted for piercing and sucking.
  • Have a toxic saliva that rapidly kills their prey.
  • Feed by sucking out the body contents of their prey insects.
  • Seem to prefer soft-bodied insects, such as caterpillars.
  • Move relatively slowly and are not easily disturbed.
  • Found on leaves and the tips of shoots during summer into fall.
  • Many assassin bugs are beneficial.

References:

Isaacs, Rufus. True bugs. 2009. Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved 01 July 2010.

Phillips, Charlma. Predatory Bugs 2 Assassin Bugs. 1993. PIRSA Forestry. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 01 July 2010.

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