pale green assassin bug

(Zelus luridus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

pale green assassin bug

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

April to October

Habitat

 

Size

Total Length: ½ to 11 16

Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
Identification

This is an elongated, nearly parallel-sided true bug. The body is ½ to 11 16 in length. Females, averaging long, are slightly larger than males, averaging 9 16 long. The overall body color is usually pale green, the color of a Granny Smith apple, but may be yellowish-green, yellow, or reddish-brown. There is a spine at both rear (distal) corners of the pronotum.

The head is elongated and has both large compound eyes and small simple eyes (ocelli). There is a transverse groove between the compound eyes. The protruding mouth part (beak) has 3 segments. It is short and curved. When at rest it is tucked into a groove between the forelegs. The antennae have 4 segments and are much longer than the head.

The third leg segment (femur) on the forelegs is thickened. There is a band at the end of the femur that may be dark or red and conspicuous or barely visible.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Nymphal Food

 

 
Adult Food

Small insects

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

When hunting, the adult smears a sticky substance, exuded from a gland on the tibia, onto small hairs on the tibia. It then probes flower parts with its legs and eats small insects that stick to the legs. The forelegs are also well adapted for grasping larger insects.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29, 30.

 
Comments

Often Misidentified
Of the five Zelus species native to North America, Zelus luridus is the most common. Due to variation in body color, it has often been misidentified in the past as Zelus exsanguis. However, that species is very rare. With the exception of a single collected specimen, all sightings of Zelus exsanguis in the United States should probably be recorded as Zelus luridus.

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids and allies)

 

No Rank:

Euhemiptera

 

No Rank:

Neohemiptera

 

No Rank:

Prosorrhyncha

 

Suborder:

Heteroptera (true bugs)

 

No Rank:

Euheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Neoheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Panheteroptera

 

Infraorder:

Cimicomorpha (thaumastocorid bugs)

 

Superfamily:

Reduvioidea

 

Family:

Reduviidae (assassin bugs)

 

Subfamily:

Harpactorinae

 

Tribe:

Harpactorini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

pale green assassin bug

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Beak

On plants: A comparatively short and stout, narrow or prolonged tip on a thickened organ, as on some fruits and seeds. On insects: The protruding mouthparts.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       
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James Cronin
       
  pale green assassin bug    
       
Alfredo Colon
       
  pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug
       
  pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug
       
  pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug
       
  pale green assassin bug    
       
Scott Bemman
       
  pale green assassin bug    
       
Holly Jessen
       

Spotted indoors, snacking on squished flies on a fly swatter. Released outside.

  pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug
       
  pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug
       
Bill Reynolds
       

While cutting the grass on my walking trails that wind through a forty acre woodlot, this little one hitched a ride on the hood on my JD Lawn tractor.

  pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

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Other Videos
 
  Nymph: Pale Green Assassin Bug - Zelus luridus(?)
adamitshelanu
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 7, 2014

Nymph: Pale Green Assassin Bug - Zelus luridus(?)

Physical appearance matches still images on GOOGLE of: Nymph of (most likely):
Pale Green Assassin Bug
Zelus luridus Family: Reduviidae

Date: 02 SEPTEMBER 2014

[vado-g3 avidemux]

   
       
  Assassin Bug (Reduviidae: Zelus luridus) Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 21, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (20 June 2011).

   
       
  pale green assassin bug (Zelus luridus)
Ohio Keller
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 3, 2015

   
       
  Zelus luridus (?) North Carolina
Nathaniel Long
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 5, 2016

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this insect.
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Be sure to include a location.

James Cronin
10/29/2020

Location: Pelican Rapids

 

pale green assassin bug


Scott Bemman
August 2020

Location: Baker Park Reserve

 

pale green assassin bug


Alfredo Colon
8/23/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

pale green assassin bug


Alfredo Colon
8/15/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

pale green assassin bug


Suzy W.
10/16/2018

Location: Minnetonka, MN

A cute bug crawling across my desk at work, one I’d never seen before.


Alfredo Colon
10/21/2017

Location: Woodbury, MN

pale green assassin bug


Bill Reynolds
6/26/2016

Location: Numedal Township, Pennington Co., MN

While cutting the grass on my walking trails that wind through a forty acre woodlot, this little one hitched a ride on the hood on my JD Lawn tractor.

pale green assassin bug


     
     
 
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Created 6/27/2016

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