This narrow-bodied, green Assassin Bug is a stealthy killer of all sorts of garden pests.
Adults of this species come in shades of green and even some brown. They all have a spine or spiky point extending from its 'shoulders'. Red eyes bulge out of either side of the head. A large, long fang is tucked, or curled under, in front of the face. This fang is a formidable weapon used to stab other insects to death. This dagger-like fang can also inflict pain if it pierces human skin. Nymphs look like smaller, thinner versions of adults. They are almost a lime-green color and shades of brown around the neck collar are starting to develop. Orange and white markings along the 'spine' area are visible. Wings have not yet formed at this stage, but they will develop after molting.
Look for nymphs in the early part of summer on leaves and stems of plants. They may be seen in groups as they emerge from their brown eggs, which are clustered together, usually on a leaf. Adults are active predators all summer long and even into autumn.
Scientific Name: Zelus luridus
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 18mm (0.47in to 0.70in)
Colors: green, red, orange, yellow, brown
Descriptors: slender, fang, biting, pointy spiky shoulders, red eyes
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.