Black insect with raised, red sides; four ridges on top of abdomen
March 19, 2010
Last spring I found this insect while out exploring and I am curious as to what it is. I tried my insect field guide but could not identify it. It was found on a rock midmorning in April in Riley County, Kansas.
Riley County, Kansas

Black Corsair

Hi Danielle,
This is an immature True Bug, and guide books rarely depict immature specimens in photographs.  We wish your photograph showed the face of the bug.  At first we thought this was an Assassin Bug, possibly an immature Bee Assassin in the genus Apiomeris as depicted on BugGuide, but its legs are rather hefty, so we would not discount that it might be a Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae.

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
March 28, 2010
Hi, Daniel:
Here are a couple of other corrections:
The”Immature coreid bug?  Or immature assassin bug?” is actually an adult female assassin bug called the “black corsair,” Melanolestes picipes.  Adult females have only the vestigial wingpads shown in the nice image.  Males are slightly more slender, fully winged, and fly well.  The males are often attracted to lights at night.  These bugs can deliver a very painful bite if handled or swatted, so brush them off gently if one alights on you.
Keep up the great work, Carlos…I mean Daniel:-)  LOL!  I loved that post from Lisa….
P.S.  Hey, next year, when your book is out, we should go in on a table at the Bug Fair and do signings!

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