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Orange Assassin Bug (Pselliopus barberi)

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

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Image Credit: Julie L.
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The nymphs of the Orange Assassin Bug have bright alarm colors that warn prudent observers to look but not touch.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Like other Assassin Bugs, Orange Assassin Bugs have a pointed fang on the head that is used to attack and stab insect prey. The light orange body is long and slender. Black and orange bands mark both sides of the flared abdomen. Legs and antennae are also orange with black bands.

Orange Assassin Bugs are usually seen on flower or branches, looking for their next meal, sometimes with friends nearby. Adults overwinter under rocks, stones, or wood piles. They are most active in spring when adults emerge from warm hiding spots, and autumn eggs laid in the spring finally hatch. Like most Assassin Bugs, use caution if handling. The fang used to kill insects can also inflict a painful wound on hands and arms.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Reduviidae
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          Genus: Pselliopus
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            Species: barberi
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Pselliopus barberi
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 14mm (0.47" to 0.55")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange, black, brown
Descriptors: stripes, spots, fang, snout, flying, biting, curved, arched

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 12mm (0.5in) and 14mm (0.6in)
Lo: 12mm
Md: 13mm
Hi: 14mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Orange Assassin Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Orange Assassin Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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