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

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 BugGuide 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

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington


Subfamily Peiratinae - Corsairs

Black Corsair - Melanolestes picipes - female Assassin bug - Rasahus thoracicus Bug Nymph - Rasahus Black Corsair - Melanolestes picipes Melanolestes picipes (Herrich-Schaeffer) - Melanolestes picipes Melanolestes picipes Assassin Bug - Black Corsair? - Melanolestes picipes - female Reduviid - Melanolestes picipes
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
Explanation of Names
Peiratinae Amyot & Serville 1843; type genus: Peirates (Old World)
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)
10-25 mm
Most easily diagnosed by the transverse sulcus being set distinctly behind the middle of the pronotum.
Worldwide; in the New World, restricted to the Nearctic and Neotropica(1); one species transcontinental, others mostly southern
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.
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.
Members of this subfamily are known for their notoriously painful bites.
Adult females of several species may be brachycerous and can be mistaken by nymphs