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Genus Pselliopus

Striped Bug, side view - Pselliopus cinctus Pselliopus cinctus eating Augochlorella (?) sp. - Pselliopus cinctus Pselliopus Mating - Pselliopus cinctus - male - female Assassin bug - Pselliopus latifasciatus Assassin Bug - Pselliopus spinicollis Pselliopus nymph - Pselliopus Assassin Bug - Pselliopus barberi - female Pselliopus barberi on winged plant - Pselliopus barberi
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 Harpactorinae
Tribe Harpactorini
Genus Pselliopus
Explanation of Names
Pselliopus Bergroth 1905
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)(4)
12-14 mm
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.
Life Cycle
Adults hibernate under rocks, bark, sometimes in groups[cite:381563]
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Cinco especies nuevas de Pselliopus (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae: Harpactorini) para México
Brailovsky H., Mariño R., Barrera E. 2007. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 78: 85-98.
3.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Oklahoma
4.NCSU insect collection species inventory database
5.Heteroptera of Eastern North America
W.S. Blatchley. 1926. The Nature Publishing Company.
6.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Canada and Alaska
Maw, H.E.L., R.G. Foottit, K.G.A. Hamilton and G.G.E. Scudder. 2000. NRC Research Press.
7.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.