Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

BugGuide is a National Moth Week Partner. How to add your National Moth Week 2021 photos. July 17-25.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Previous events


Subfamily Emesinae - Thread-legged Bugs

Thread-legged Bug - Empicoris errabundus Unknown bug - Empicoris Thread-legged Bug - Barce uhleri Empicoris sp. Assassin? - Empicoris orthoneuron Empicoris errabundus ? - Empicoris vagabundus Thread-legged Bug - Emesaya brevipennis Ploiaria similis - male Ploiaria denticauda - male
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 Emesinae (Thread-legged Bugs)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
sometimes treated as a separate family (Ploiariidae)(1)
Explanation of Names
Emesinae Amyot & Serville 1843
Over 60 spp. in 14 genera north of Mexico(2)(3)
Tribe Emesini:
Emesa (1)
Gardena (2)
Stenolemoides (1)
Stenolemus (4)
Tribe Leistarchini:
Ploiaria (14)
Tribe Metapterini:
Barce (6)
Metapterus (6)
Pseudometapterus (3)
Emesaya (5)
Ghilianella (1)
Pseudometyapterus (3)
Ischnonyctes (1)
Tribe Ploiariolini
Emesopsis (1)
Empicoris (14)
3-40 mm, usually under 10mm(4)(5)
Unlike walking-sticks and some dipterans they mimic, the Emesinae walk on the rear four legs -- the front legs are modified for grasping prey(3)
McAtee & Malloch 1925 revision of our fauna(6) has retained its importance
Barns, cellars and old buildings; beneath loose bark, in tufts of grass or brush piles; largely nocturnal, some live in spider webs(1)(7)(4)(5)
other insects or spiders; some steal prey from spider webs(4)(7)(3).
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.A monograph of the Emesinae (Reduviidae, Hemiptera)
Pedro W. Wygodzinsky. 1966. New York : [American Museum of Natural History].
4.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
5.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.
6.Revision of the American bugs of the reduviid subfamily Ploiariinae
McAtee W.L., Malloch J.R. 1925. Proc. U.S.N.M. 67: 1-135.
7.Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.