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

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Discussion of 2018 gathering

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

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Genus Zelus

unknown bug - Zelus longipes  Bright orange 6-legged hook-nosed hexapod? - Zelus longipes Zelus ?luridus - Zelus luridus Assassin Bug nymph - Zelus luridus Assassin bug sp.? - Zelus luridus Zelus eggs - Zelus luridus White-striped assassin bug nymph - Zelus luridus Tan reduviid nymph - Zelus
Classification
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 Zelus
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
revised in(1); review in(2)
Explanation of Names
Zelus Fabricius 1803
in Greek mythology, Zelos (ζελος, Latinized, Zelus) was a minor deity, personifying zeal, rivalry and anger
Numbers
7 spp. in 3 subgenera in our area(3)(4), 71 spp. total(1)
Size
14-21 mm
Identification
Telling apart Z. renardii, Z. cervicalis, & Z. tetracanthus from images alone may be problematic, but see discussion here(5)
keys to spp. in Hart (1986)(2)
Range
New World(6), incl. most of NA (except n. Rockies)(3)
Food
prey on a wide range of insects, e.g. boll weevils and leafhoppers, but up to 40% of diet may consist of lepidopteran larvae including cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm, and pink cotton bollworm; beneficial predators, esp. in cotton, soybean, alfalfa crops and tree fruit(6)
Remarks
predation strategy unique: the bugs secret sticky substances from unique dermal glands on front tibiae (a derived trait of Zelus?), which are smeared onto setae that resemble leaves of sundew(6)
NB: info on Z. exsanguis in two popular sources(4)(7) actually refers to Z. luridus (D.R. Swanson, pers. comm. to =v= 13.iii.2015)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.A taxonomic monograph of the assassin bug genus Zelus Fabricius (Hemiptera: Reduviidae): 71 species based on 10,000 specimens
Guanyang Zhang, Elwood R Hart, Christiane Weirauch. 2016. Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e8150 .
2.Genus Zelus Fabricius in the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)
Hart E.R. 1986. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 79: 535-548.
3.Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs of Canada and the Continental United States
Thomas J. Henry, Richard C. Froeschner. 1988. Brill Academic Publishers.
4.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
5.Austin bug collection
6.Taxonomic revision of Zelus Fabricius
7.How to Know the True Bugs
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.