Family Reduviidae - Assassin Bugs
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)
Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cladistic analysis of the family and status of higher taxa discussed in(1)
; world fauna catalogued in(2)
Explanation of Names
Reduviidae Latreille 1807
195 spp. in 55 genera in 11 subfamilies in our area (Swanson, updated from (3)
); second largest heteropteran family, with close to 7,000 spp. in almost 1,000 genera worldwide(4)
, arranged in 25 subfamilies & 28 tribes(5)(6)
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)
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.
Keys to species: Alabama(7)
key to suprageneric taxa of the world in (5)
worldwide and throughout NA, much more diverse in warmer climates
Most prey on arthropods; Triatominae suck blood(12)
Some of the eggs of various Assassins:
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.
|2.||Systematic catalogue of the Reduviidae of the world (Insecta: Heteroptera)|
Maldonado Capriles J. 1990. University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, x+694 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.
|9.||Assassin Bugs of Virginia (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)|
Hoffman R.L. 2006. The Insects of Virginia 15: vi+73 pp.
|11.||The assassin bugs of Michigan (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)|
McPherson J.E. 1992. The Great Lakes Entomologist 25: 25–31.