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Subfamily Peiratinae - Corsairs

Black Corsair? - Melanolestes picipes - female Corsair Assassin - Rasahus biguttatus Black Corsair - Melanolestes picipes 822W06 - Rasahus hamatus - male Black Cosair Assassin - Melanolestes picipes - male Melanolestes picipes New to me - Rasahus thoracicus Sirthenea carinata
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Cimicomorpha
Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs)
Subfamily Peiratinae (Corsairs)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Piratinae
Explanation of Names
Peiratinae Amyot & Serville 1843; type genus: Peirates (Old World)
Numbers
medium-sized subfamily with 350 spp. in 33 genera worldwide, 70 spp. in 10 genera in the New World(1); 7 spp. in 3 genera north of Mexico(2)
Size
10-25 mm
Identification
Most easily diagnosed by the transverse sulcus being set distinctly behind the middle of the pronotum.
Range
Worldwide; in the New World, restricted to the Nearctic and Neotropica(1); one species transcontinental, others mostly southern
Habitat
Often found on the ground under rocks or at the base of grasses. They are active hunters, preferring to chase and pounce on their prey. Some species are attracted to lights at night.
Food
Many are probably generalist feeders on various different arthropods but it is thought that some Melanolestes have a preference for melolonthine scarabs and Sirthenea prefer mole crickets.
Remarks
Members of this subfamily are known for their notoriously painful bites.