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  • Leafhopper Assassin Bug - (Zelus renardii)

    Leafhopper Assassin Bug - (Zelus renardii)

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

    Picture of Leafhopper Assassin Bug
    Staff Writer (8/8/2017): 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.

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    Details of the:
    Leafhopper Assassin Bug

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Leafhopper Assassin Bug
    Scientific Name: Zelus renardii

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Reduviidae
           Genus: Zelus
            Species: renardii

    Size (Adult, Length): 10mm to 16mm (0.39in to 0.63in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, green, white, orange, black

    Additional Descriptors: green legs, spiky, fang, biting, long

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; California; Florida; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; Oregon; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; West Virginia; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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