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Leafhopper Assassin Bug (Zelus renardii)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Leafhopper Assassin Bug.

 Updated: 8/8/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Leafhopper Assassin Bugs are efficient predators with varied diets, eating more than just leaf, plant and tree hopping insects.



Despite its common name, Leafhopper Assassin Bugs will attack and eat any insect it comes across. Using stealth, speed, and strong forelegs to hold a victim, the Leafhopper Assassin Bug kills using a a long, sharp fang to quickly and repeatedly stab its prey. This fang can also stab fingers and arms, inflicting a mighty painful wound. Aside from intense pain, however, the Leafhopper Assassin Bug, like its kin, is not lethal to humans and a 'bite' does not require medical attention. Avoid rough handling or scaring the bug and it is content to ignore humans. It is more interested in hunting for insects and spiders on flowers and branches.

Though its manner of dispatching bugs for meals seems brutal, Leafhopper Assassin Bugs can help in gardens infested with pest bugs, but they don't really discriminate between helpful and harmful plant bugs. Adults and nymphs may be seen near each other, but they look nothing alike. Nymphs are small, spiky and white with orange on the dorsal (back) side. Adults are slender and long with brown bodies, orange patches on the elytra (wing covering) and green legs. Both are good at what they do: eat.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Reduviidae
          Genus: Zelus
            Species: renardii
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Zelus renardii
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 16mm (0.39in to 0.62in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, green, white, orange, black
Descriptors: green legs, spiky, fang, biting, long
Territorial Map
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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.