Assassin Bugs

pselliopus barberi

  • Taxonomy:
  • Assassin Bugs use their strong 3 segmented beak to stab their prey repeatedly until it dies. Once the beak is injected, venom is injected that paralyzes and partially digests the prey. once the body contents are liquefied, they use there straw-like mouth to suck it out. When not in use the beak is tucked underneath the head, and it makes noise when the beak moves back and forth. It was named an assassin bug because it bites people on the face. Sometimes called kissing bugs because they are attracted to the face and lips of humans since it is tender flesh. They also have wings but adults are not able to fly well.

Kingdom- Animalia
Phylum- Arthropoda

Class- Insecta

Order- Hemiptera

Family- Reduviidae

Genus- Pselliopus

Species- Barberi

The most know assassin bugs are members of subfamily Triatominae.(AKA- triatomine bugs or kissing bugs)

Some members of this family carry the protozoan parasite.

  • Body plan:
Adult length- 12-13mm

Colors- red, orange, black, white, grey, green

Description- long legs, mouth, stripes, beak, antenna

Distinguished by segmented beak, long skinny legs, stripes, narrow head

Use a strong 3 segmented beak.

  • Development:
  • An assassin bug lays an open clusters of eggs on a leaf.
  • The eggs then take several days to hatch into a small larvae form called a nymph.
  • Once they are hatched, over a period of 2 months they molt several times to form wings and change color.
  • General Ecology
  • Located in Mississippi
  • Often found in woodland edges, along rivers.
  • spend most of their time on plants and flowers.
  • Locomotion
  • The assassin bug is able to fly, but not very well.
  • Sometimes hides in the shell of it's prey.
  • Violently stabs and externally digests prey.


"These 10 Bugs Found In Mississippi Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine." OnlyInYourState. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

"Assassin Bug." - IPMopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

"Assassin Bug." : Pictures, Information, Classification and More. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.