Beneficial of the Month – Assassin Bugs – (Family: Reduviidae)

This is one of the largest families of true bugs and includes the blood-sucking ‘kissing bugs’ (Triatoma species) as well as useful insect predators. Kissing bugs are not normally found in crop orgarden situations, but even the assassin bugs that prey exclusively on other insects can inflict a painful bite if handled roughly.

The beneficial members of this family are quite diverse in size, color, and structure; some have enlarged forelegs that help with prey capture, while the so-called ‘ambush bugs hide in flowers (usually yellow ones, where they are well-camouflaged) and capture other flower visitors.

Beneficial of the Month material courtesy of NMSU ACES:
Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico