Assassin Bug Nymph?
January 31, 2011 8:55 pm
There are so many of these bugs all over the tree in my front yard that my child plays on all the time. She is the one who found the bugs and showed them to me. Of course I’m not letting her play on it now, but I sure would like to make sure it isn’t poisonous. Many Thanks! 🙂
Signature: M. McCoy
Dear M. McCoy,
You are correct that this is an Assassin Bug. It is an immature Milkweed Assassin Bug, Zelus longipes, and you can read more about the species on BugGuide. Though they can bite if carelessly handled, and the bite is reported to be painful, the Milkweed Assassin Bug is not venomous and it poses no threat beyond the initial discomfort caused by the bite. We generally refrain from giving parenting advice, however, we do tend to voice our opinion and we do not shy away from controversial topics from time to time. It seems like a positive characteristic that your child thought to question you about the insects she found at one of her favorite play sites, and negative repercussions might occur if she is forbidden to play there again. Why not just explain to her that if she is not careful, she might get bitten? That way you can teach her to respect and appreciate the natural world that surrounds her without punishing her for coming to you with her curiosity. There are much bigger threats out in the world than Assassin Bugs.