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Assassin Bug
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Assassin Bug

Order: Hemiptera

Family: Reduviidae

Pest Status: Assassin bugs are beneficial predatory insects. Caution should be taken in handling them, however, as they can bite people.

Appearance: Adults are 1/5 to 1 1/2-inches long depending upon the species. An adult has an elongated head with distinct narrowed thorax, long legs and a prominent, segmented proboscis. Most species are dark in color with hues of brown, black, red, or orange.

Life Cycle: Assassin bugs lay their eggs on leaves during the summer and in cracks and crevices during the fall. The eggs hatch either during the summer or the following spring. Nymphs pass through five instars before becoming adults.

Where to Collect: Adults are usually the overwintering stage. They can be collected nearly anywhere as they disperse to find prey. Sweeping foliage or collecting them at night are also productive techniques.