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Assassin bugs with prey

Zelus janus

Description:

This was quite an amazing scene. All three assassin bugs had their proboscis in the honey bee at the same time (pic 3 is cropped to give a closer look). Zelus janus is a difficult species to identify as it has a lot of variation in its appearance along with sexual dimorphism. The female is on the upper right and the other two are males, which are slightly smaller, narrower, and darker. Legs are thin and without spurs/spines. Males ave. length is 17.63 mm. Female ave. length 20.53 mm.

Habitat:

Spotted on a flowering fiddlewood shrub. They can flower from February till fall. The dense large leaf foliage that grows close to the bunched flowers makes this a perfect plant for assassin bugs to ambush their prey, which is usually flying insects.

Notes:

This is a neotropical species that ranges from south Texas to Central America. For additional information on the species: https://bdj.pensoft.net/article/8150/ele...

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2 Comments

Brian38
Brian38 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Jae. They seem to be working as a team where everyone knows their part. I wish I had found it sooner to see how they got the bee.

Jae
Jae 3 weeks ago

Quite a gruesome scene. Well spotted, Brian!

Brian38
Spotted by
Brian38

Mission, Texas, United States

Spotted on Nov 11, 2020
Submitted on Jan 2, 2021

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