Family Reduviidae - Assassin Bugs
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cladistic analysis of the family and status of higher taxa discussed in(1)
Explanation of Names
184 spp. in 49 genera north of Mexico(3)
; second largest heteropteran family, with close to 7,000 spp. in almost 1,000 genera worldwide(4)
, arranged in 25 subfamilies; world taxa cataloged on(5)
Overview of our fauna based on the classification synopsis prepared by Dan Swanson
Taxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
(sometimes treated as Subfamily Apiomerinae)
(the "pirates", or "corsairs")
Subfamily Phymatinae - Ambush Bugs
(formerly Family Phymatidae)
May be brown, black or brightly colored. Short three-segmented beak used for stabbing prey. Beak folds into groove in prosternum. Head typically constricted behind the eyes, giving a neck-like appearance. Antennae long, thin, not clubbed. Forelegs sometimes swollen or expanded for catching prey.
Key to Florida species in (6)
worldwide and throughout NA, much more diverse in warmer climates.
Most prey on arthropods; Triatominae suck blood(3)
Incomplete metamorphosis: eggs hatch into tiny nymphs which molt several times as they grow to adulthood.
Many species can inflict a painful bite on humans if handled, so it's wise to avoid touching them. If one lands or is seen on your body, brush it or flick it off with a sideways motion. Do not slap or swat it because it will almost certainly bite if you try to crush it.
Maldonado Capriles, J. (1990) Systematic catalogue of the Reduviidae of the World. University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. 694 pp.
|2.||Composition of scientific words|
Brown R.W. 1956. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. 882 pp.
|4.||Biodiversity of the Heteroptera|
Henry T.J. 2009. In: Foottit R.G., Adler P.H., eds. Insect biodiversity: Science and society. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell: 223-263.
|8.||The assassin bugs of Michigan (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)|
McPherson J.E. 1992. The Great Lakes Entomologist 25: 25–31.