giant red flying bug
Location: Andhra Pradesh, India
November 26, 2011 10:49 am
Hi – I’m in Andhra Pradesh, India in late November and this big red flying insect landed on my wall, the on the edge of my laptop. From the end of its back legs to the tips of its antennae it was about 5cm. It looked very bitey, so I caught it in a cup and released it outside.
Signature: Steve Sargent
This is an Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae, though we need to try to research the species. Most Assassin Bugs prey upon insects and other arthropods, though a few do suck blood from warm blooded prey including humans. We hope our eventual identification will eliminate this brightly colored species as an insect that sucks human blood. Even species that do not prey upon warm blooded hosts are capable of biting if they are carelessly handled and the bite is reported to be quite painful.
Hi Daniel, many thanks for identifying the bug. It certainly did look potentially harmful, but beautiful, too. Good luck with your work!
Update: December 31, 2013
We have now received two comments indicating that this is a Sycanus species, but we never sought a corroborating link until now. This German Reduviidae site has a matching photo of Sycanus minor. We also found this highly stylized drawing of Sycanus falleni on a Vietnamese stamp on Shutterstock. Sycanus insularis is pictured on Insect Fans, but you must scroll down to see the images.