pale green assassin bug

(Zelus luridus)

Conservation Status
pale green assassin bug
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

Pale green assassin bug 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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ½ to 11 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

April to October

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Small insects

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30.

 
  7/30/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

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

Suborder

Sternorrhyncha (plant-parasitic hemipterans)  
 

Infraorder

Cimicomorpha (thaumastocorid bugs)  
 

Superfamily

Reduvioidea  
 

Family

Reduviidae (assassin bugs)  
 

Subfamily

Harpactorinae  
 

Tribe

Harpactorini  
 

Genus

Zelus  
       
 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Luciearl

 
 

Found this unique insect on my porch screen in June.

 
    pale green assassin bug   pale green assassin bug  
 

Gerald Carlson

 
    pale green assassin bug      
 

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   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
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
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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.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Luciearl
June 2021

Location: Cass County

Found this unique insect on my porch screen in June.

pale green assassin bug  
  Alfredo Colon
5/30 to 6/1/2021

Location: Woodbury, MN

pale green assassin bug  
  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  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created 6/27/2016

Last Updated:

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