Assassin Bugs

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HPIPM Home > Woody Ornamentals > Miscellaneous > Biological Controls of Insects Associated with Trees and Shrubs >Assassin Bugs
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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Reduviidae
Genus: Zelus
Species: luridus
Scientific Name
Zelus luridus
Stal, 1862
Common Names

assassin bug

Compiled by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University:

Assassin Bugs

Hemiptera: Reduviidae

Assassin bugs are equally capable predators, that can subdue large insects such as caterpillars and beetles. Most assassin bugs are elongate in form, have a pronounced 'snout' on the front which is the base for the stylet mouthparts, and are spiny. Despite their prodigious ability to dispatch most garden pests, they rarely become very abundant since they in turn have too many enemies of their own (mostly egg parasites).

The largest assassin bug associated with woody plants is the wheel bug Arilus cristatus an inch long species found in SE Colorado. Assassin bugs of elongate body form and stick-lie legs, notably those in the genus Zelus, are most commonly observed associated with trees and shrubs. Distinctive pods of eggs attached to leaves are produced by many assassin bugs.

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Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
Assassin bug eggs.
View in Bugwood Image Database
Assassin bug eggs.
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Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
Bee assassin bug nymph.
View in Bugwood Image Database
Bee assassin bug nymph.

The information herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and that listing of commercial products, necessary to this guide, implies no endorsement by the authors or the Extension Services of Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming or Montana. Criticism of products or equipment not listed is neither implied nor intended. Due to constantly changing labels, laws and regulations, the Extension Services can assume no liability for the suggested use of chemicals contained herein. Pesticides must be applied legally complying with all label directions and precautions on the pesticide container and any supplemental labeling and rules of state and federal pesticide regulatory agencies. State rules and regulations and special pesticide use allowances may vary from state to state: contact your State Department of Agriculture for the rules, regulations and allowances applicable in your state and locality.

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