Explanation of Names
Greek psellion 'anklet/bracelet' + pous 'foot' (a reference to the banded legs)
at least 7 spp. in our area, ~30 total(1)(2)
; selected local faunas: OK 3 spp.(3)
, NC 3 spp. (2 common + the rare P. latifasciatus
Adults are orange and boldly striped, as are some other juvenile assassin bugs. Distinctive as an adult: brown or orange with banded legs, head, and front of thorax. Edges of abdomen also banded.
a key to eastern spp.(5)
a. Disks of both front and hind lobes of pronotum smooth, unarmed; tibiae annulate throughout their length.
b. Basal margin of pronotum within the wide notch in front of scutellum bisinuate; short black spine of humeral angles of pronotum projected slightly beyond the angle and directed backwards; general color dull orange-yellow, more or less tinged with fuscous.... cinctus
bb. Basal margin of pronotum in front of scutellum truncate or straight across ; short black spine of humeral angles not projected beyond the angle and directed outwards; general color a bright orange-yellow.... barberi
aa. Front lobe of pronotum setose and beset with 10—12 distinct obtuse tubercles; hind lobe with numerous small setose tubercles or granules; tibiae annulate only toward base.... latifasciatus
so. Canada to Argentina, most diverse in Mexico(2)
; in our area, 3 spp. are eastern: P. cinctus
and P. barberi
widespread in e. US, P. latifasciatus
se. US (MD-FL to MI-CO-TX) and 4 are western (mostly sw. US, with P. spinicollis
ranging into BC(6)
Meadows, fields; typically on flowers
Early summer through fall. Brimley(7)
lists P. barberi
from Raleigh, NC in May and September-December, and P. cinctus
from Raleigh west into Appalachians for "whole season". It looks as though in se. US the adults are seen in spring (Apr-Jun), reappear in Sep and presumably overwinter.
Adults hibernate under rocks, bark, sometimes in groups[cite:381563]