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Assassin Bug - Stenopoda spinulosa

Assassin Bug - Stenopoda spinulosa
Mobile (Dog River), Mobile County, Alabama, USA
July 18, 2009
Adds new species for Alabama

Images of this individual: tag all
Assassin Bug - Stenopoda spinulosa Assassin Bug - Stenopoda spinulosa

Yes and no
"Lady" V's identification is correct, in that he is talking about the correct insect, what was previously known as S. cinerea. It is incorrect in that since the genus was revised by Giacchi, the United State's single species belongs to S. spinulosa Giacchi. It was separated from Stenopoda cinerea proper by mostly genitalic characteristics. S. cinerea is from Mexico or further south or something. This should probably be changed in the guide. Here's the reference: Giacchi, J. C. 1969. Revision del genero Stenopoda Laporte, 1833 (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Stenopodainae). Physis, 29: 1-26.

thanks, Dan.
I added the ref. to the genus page but stopped short of changing the name on the species page (feeling uneasy and don't want to add to the confusion -- esp. given what is already there, syn.-wise)

Hesitation understood...
but I feel obligated to point out that part of the S. cinerea Synonym section in the guide is wrong. "Fitchia spinulosa" does not refer to this insect, it refers to the second species in the genus Fitchia which should actually be Fitchia spinOSULA, I believe. It was differentiated from F. aptera because it bore distinct tubercles (spinosa + diminuative) on the pronotum. The differences between the two Fitchia species have been better characterized more recently but that is beside the point.

The most recent revision of Stenopoda (Giacchi, 1969) states that the species that inhabits the United States is Stenopoda spinULOSA (spinule + -osus = provided with spinules, I assume) and this has been accepted by at least three authors: Slater & Baranowski, J. E. McPherson (several publications) and Hoffman (2006). Calling it S. cinerea is incorrect, no matter how you spin it, at least until another investigation finds differently. This is just how taxonomy works. Besides, if confusion is the main concern, then we should call it Stenopoda culiciformis, shouldn't we? (Actually this would be incorrect too but for a different reason, though my point still remains) Or better yet, let's put any new species that's been segregated away from a complex in the last 10 years back under the nominate form. Using the new name is an acknowledgment of the work Giacchi has done toward elucidating the true relationships within this taxon. I understand not many people are aware of his revision but this is no reason for those who ARE aware to let it remain in obscurity.

Haha, guess I got going a little bit there. Please know V, this isn't directed at you, by any means :) And let me add that the work you do for this site is phenomenal and you're much appreciated.

And as a final note, these images, particularly the head shot with the detailed setiform tubercles, are beautiful additions to the guide.

thanks, my Lord
i always appreciate cooperation. This has to be Stenopoda cinerea -- will ask Swanny to double-check.
I just wonder at which point i had been promoted to the opposite gender... an honor i have to respectfully decline -- for reasons that include chromosomal pattern, rather slobbish ways, &c...

Just assumed when you first said 'My Lord." Sorry. BTW I did good with the bug, eh?

should i have said 'Your Lordship'?
i'm not well-versed in the protocol, but, as far as i know, 'my lord' is a correct way to address any nobleman of a superior title or a judge [in Britain] (see, e.g., HERE)
And sure you did good with the bug!

Squire V
You continue to serve me well with IDs :)
Lord Z

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