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Thread-legged Assassin Bug (Various spp.)


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




This baffling bug has features typically seen in spiders, walkingsticks, and praying mantises in addition to its own kind's qualities.



 Updated: 8/19/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org




Thread-legged Assassin bugs look like Walkingsticks thanks to their narrow bodies and extremely long legs. Their movements are slow, adding to the similarities, but Thread-legged Assassins are not herbivores. Their front legs are used for grabbing insect prey, and bend or curl, much like those of a Praying Mantis, but it is not in the same family. Like a spider, this type of Assassin Bug clings to webs (made by spider that is likely nearby). The back four legs are used to walk the fine silk threads, slowly and carefully. It waits patiently for the perfect moment to steal an insect meal from the resident arachnid.

There are various Tribes of Thread-legged Assassins Bugs, and they look similar to each other, yet different. Some are brown or red, or may have dark speckles, wider abdomens, or appear covered in silvery residue. They are stalking hunters that take advantage of a spider’s snare without becoming a victim to it themselves. Look for this beguiling insect in sheds, barns, and other outbuildings among the webs that are created in corners, on rafters and beams, and on ceilings.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Reduviidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Various [ View More ]
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 40mm (0.12in to 1.56in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; red; white; silver
Descriptors: skinny spider; praying mantis arms; thin; web; long legs
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 3mm | Hi: 40mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
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
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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.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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