Long legs Assassin Bugs - Subfamily Harpactorinae

Family Reduviidae

This page contains pictures and information about Long legs Assassin Bugs in Subfamily Harpactorinae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
This is a large reduviid subfamily and we found a number of difference species in Brisbane. Assassin bugs in this subfamily have slender body, long antenna and long legs. The head with transverse sulcus between or behind eyes present and usually distinct, usually with long cylindrical neck. The labium is strong and curved. 
They are sit-and-wait predators. They usually hunt on leaves, flowers and tree trunks. They hunt actively during the day time. Caterpillars are one of their favorites. Some species are killer of bees.

Small Red Assassin Bug
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Trachylestes aspericollis, nymph, adult body length 10mm                                                                                   
Pictures taken in Anstead Forest Reserve on Feb 2009. The bug was flying and landed on leaf in front of us. It flied away after we took a few photos. This assassin bug is a active flier it flies between plants and hunts during the day. Please check this page for more information.
Ants Killer Assassin Bug
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Catasphactes coprias, body length 10mm
This assassin bug is golden yellow in colours with black head and thorax. Its wings are membrane part of the wings is black. All its legs are also black. Please click on here for more pictures and information.
Red Spiny Assassin Bug
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Scipinia arenacea,  body length 15mm
Although this Red Spiny Assassin Bug is small in size, its fore legs are very strong and spiny. The bug is orange-red in colour with black wings. Its legs are orange-red too. We found the bug feeding a ladybird larva on a Milkweed plant. There is more information about this bug in this page.
Brown Spiny Assassin Bug
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Neoveledella aculeata, body length 10mm 
The bug in the above pictures has the thin body although part of abdominal margin produced from wing-cover. We found this assassin bug once on Feb 2004. Please check this page for more information. 
Orange Assassin Bug, Red Assassin Bug
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Gminatus australis, body Length 15mm
This assassin bugs look similar to the Common Assassin Bugs but the body colours are different. The body are orange-red in colour with black legs and black wings. In early summer we found a pair of the Red Assassin Bugs wandering near a Stingless Bee nest. They seem looking for chances to hunt some bees. More pictures and information please visit this page
Large Orange Assassin Bug
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Gminatus wallengreni, body length 17mm 
This assassin bug is orange red in colour with black legs and black wings. The antennae are orange-red. There are a number of tubercles on pronotum. Legs are slender and weakly constricted. The abdomen bottom is black in colour. Please check this page for more information.
Red Tiger Assassin Bug
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Havinthus rufovarius, adult, nymph, body length 18mm
We took those pictures in Karawatha Forest on a gum tree trunk during early October. The Assassin Bug was wandering on the tree trunk. It did not care very much on our approaching and taking those pictures. The bugs were red and black, the strong warning colour. As a predator and with strips on body and legs, we call this bug Red Tiger. More information and pictures can be found in this page.
Long Assassin Bug
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Australcmena lineativentris, body length 20 and 25mm
This assassin bug is long and has slender body. It is brown in colour with find white patterns on body. Its wings and very long legs are dark brown in colour. There are the short spins on it thorax. Its has the typical small and long head with long and curved proboscis. Please visit this page for more pictures and information.
Common Assassin Bug, Bee Killer
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Pristhesancus plagipennis, nymph body length 15mm, adult 25mm
We found the Nymph Common Assassin Bug when it was chasing a small Flower Spider on the Hibiscus plants in our backyard in a mid autumn night. As most Assassin Bugs, it is bright orange in colour with black legs and long antenna. The adult Common Assassin Bug was found on a oak tree in Wishart in mid-winter. They have their distinct neck between thorax and head. They are predators of other small insects and spiders.  Most Assassin Bugs will give a very painful bite. More information on the Common Assassin Bugs page.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 494.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p150.
3. Family REDUVIIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory. 
4. Reduviidae - Australian National Insect Collection Database, Web site by Steve Shattuck and Natalie Barnett, Copyright 2005-2010 CSIRO Australia. 
5. The generic classification of the Australian Harpactorinae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) - Malipatil, M.B. 1991. Invertebrate Taxonomy 4: 935-971. 

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Last updated: August 17, 2010.