Assassin Bug (Zelus luridus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Assassin Bug.
Updated: 8/27/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.