Assassin Bug Nymphs?
Location: Leimert Park, Los Angeles, CA
October 11, 2012
Hi Daniel and Christiane,
Last week, this “ant camp” appeared on one of my squash leaves. They
were not active, just seemed to be hanging out. They were only on one
of many squash leaves and are no longer there.
After some research, I’m very glad I didn’t harass them. They appear
to be assassin bug nymphs. Any other thoughts? Would that be an
adult at upper right? Are the small less colorful ones just younger
You both have my permission to publish in any format and I can send a
higher resolution version as well…if you don’t mind crediting me.
Leimert Park, Los Angeles
There is no one named Christiane on our staff. There is not enough detail in your photograph for us to make out the identity of the insect in the upper right, but it is not related to what you have mistaken for hatchling Assassin Bugs. Your insects are hatchling Leaf Footed Bugs, probably in the genus Leptoglossus, and most likely Leptoglossus zonatus, which according to BugGuide: “Feeds on flowers and fruits of many plants, including citrus, tomatoes, various members of the squash family, and many other plants.” They really resemble these hatchlings found in nearby Long Beach that were posted to BugGuide.
I had cc’d Christiane who is a professor at UC Riverside with an
assassin bug specialty.
The reason I thought they were assassin bug nymphs:
especially the milkweed nymphs. Do you think these were
misidentified? They look different as photo’d by national geo
On the other hand, when I search for leaf footed milkweed nymphs
elsewhere, I also don’t pull a match for most images.
Hi again David,
The Assassin Bug nymphs in your FlickR link are Wheel Bugs, and are definitely not your insects. The National Geographic link you provided is for a photo and the photo is not identified when we dragged it to our desktop.
Sorry for the delay – the picture shows so-called leaf-footed bugs in the family Coreidae. A number of genera and species feed on Cucurbitaceae, i.e. zucchinis and squashes, and I am not sure which species is shown in the pictures.