Assassin Bugs Biology - Family Reduviidae

This page contains pictures and information about Biology of Assassin Bugs that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Assassin Bug and its strong piercing-sucking mouthparts
Assassin Bugs can be distinguished from other bugs by their elongated head and short curved proboscis. All other plant-feeding bugs have their proboscis flat against under their head when not in use. Assassin Bugs' proboscis is curved outwards from the head. Assassin bugs swing their proboscis forwards to attack.
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Assassin bugs feed on prey by puncturing with sharp stylets in their proboscis, then inject saliva which can paralyses prey. Then assassin bugs suck up the prey body fluids. As some other bugs, assassin bugs are usually slow moving. However, their bit can be painful.
The antennae of Assassin Bugs are four segmented and about the same length as the body and are usually slender. Their head is relatively small but eyes are large. The legs are usually long and this extends the long attack distance.
Assassin bugs' life-cycle is incomplete metamorphosis and their young, the nymphs, look much the same as their adults except smaller and wingless. They may have different coloring to the adult form. There are five instars stages. We have detail records about assassin bugs' life-cycle in the Common Assassin bug 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. Checklist for HEMIPTERA: HETEROPTERA (Coleorrhyncha to Cimicomorpha) - Australian Biological Resources Study 

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Last updated: August 19, 2010.