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.

 
  10/30/2020      
         
 

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  
  Subgenus    
       
 

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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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
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

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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


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

 

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Created 6/27/2016

Last Updated:

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