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

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

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

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

Photos of 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

Previous events


Species Melanolestes picipes - Black Corsair

Black bug - Assassin bug ? - Melanolestes picipes Black Corsair - Melanolestes picipes - female unidentified Hemiptera - Melanolestes picipes - female Black Corsair - Melanolestes picipes - Melanolestes picipes - female ?Black Corsair to black light - Melanolestes picipes Black Corsair - Melanolestes picipes - female Assassin Bug - Black Corsair? - Melanolestes picipes - female Black Corsair (Melanolestes picipes) - 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)
Genus Melanolestes
Species picipes (Black Corsair)
Other Common Names
Black May Beetle-eater
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Melanolestes abdominalis (Herrich-Schäffer 1846); Reduvius pungens LeConte 1856
Explanation of Names
Melanolestes picipes (Herrich-Schaeffer 1846)
picipes = 'pitch-black feet'
12-20 mm(1)
Males macropterous (fully winged); female wings variable, often micropterous
QC & most of the US except northwest (QC-FL to MN-SD-UT-CA) to Brazil(1)
Hibernates in woods and fields beneath logs. In spring & summer, found beneath stones, loose bark, piles of weeds, and other cover(2)
Sometimes attracted to lights.
Other insects. Reported to feed on May Beetles, Phyllophaga, attacking them from behind, holding on with spongy pads on legs.
Life Cycle
Females often flightless, tend to live under logs, stones, etc. Adults overwinter under logs, in piles of weeds, etc. Males seen in open in spring. During mating, males use spongy pads on legs to mount females. Female stridulates with beak during mating. Eggs laid singly into soil beneath rocks. Males come to lights in summer.
Can inflict a painful bite but does not feed on blood and does not transmit diseases.
Works Cited
1.Taxonomic status of Melanolestes picipes and M. abdominalis (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)
McPherson J.E., Keffer S.L., Taylor S.J. 1992. Fla. Entomol. 74: 396-403.
2.Heteroptera of Eastern North America
W.S. Blatchley. 1926. The Nature Publishing Company.