Image: Assassin bug nymphs

Assassin bug nymphs

Assasin bug nymphs with egg mass

Nick Frame
© Nick Frame
Scotts Head NSW
Date taken:
17 November 2005


These nymphs are the first instar and are mimicking ants (leptomyrmex).

The name assassin bug is due to the way this insect feeds on its prey. Often approaching from behind, the assassin bug will stab the prey and inject an enzyme which will disolve the prey's inner organs. The assassin bug can then feed on the fluid.

Assassin bugs are not known to be aggressive, but may bite in self-defence. The bite is reported to be extremely painful (as the same salivary secretion is injected through the skin as used to kill their prey). Intense burning sensations followed by a lump lasting for several days may be present at the site of the bite.

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