What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Assasin bug ?
Location: Chiriqui Panama
January 11, 2014 10:44 am
I can’t imagine this is an assasin bug with these bright red “flags”. What kind of stealth is that?
Signature: Linda

Flag Footed Bug

Bee Killer Assassin Bug

Hi Linda,
This is not an Assassin Bug.  We believe this is a Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae.  Some tropical species have especially exaggerated leaf-like expansions on the hind tibiae which resemble flags, so these tropical species are commonly called Flag Footed Bugs.  Here is a Flag Footed Bug from Costa Rica and here is a different Flag Footed Bug from Costa Rica.  We believe more tourists visit Costa Rica than any other Central American country, so examples from Costa Rica tend to be most plentiful in our archives.  We have not had any luck matching your image to anything online.  Do you have a more traditional dorsal view as opposed to this artistic “head on” perspective?

Although this is probably not the exact bug since I took these 2/2013, it shows his dorsal and also his proboscis which is why I thought it was an assasin bug, with it folded over as it is. If this isn’t the exact kind of bug, it at least looks identical in terms of coloring and pattern.
Living in Panama is great but you are correct, almost all of my id. help from butterflies, etc. is based on Costa Rica information.
Thanks for your help.

Assassin Bug

Bee Killer Assassin Bug

Retraction:  We stand corrected!!!
Hi Linda,
We would like to retract the Flag Bug identification.  We now agree with you that this is most likely an Assassin Bug, possibly a Bee Assassin in the genus
Apiomeris.  The angle of the original photo made it appear that the “flags” were on the legs, when in fact they now appear to be on the wings or abdomen.  All True Bugs have mouths designed for piercing and sucking, even the plant feeding species.  We will attempt to make an identification based on the new photos.  We quickly located
Apiomeris vexillarius from Costa Rica on Monga Bay.  There are also photos on Discover Life and Project Noah.  We even have a photo of Apiomeris vexillarius in our own archive.

Sorry that I had forgotten the old photo of the similar bug (whose flags either were not extended or not developed?). It certainly helps to have many angles, plus my photo today didn’t show well since my flash ran out of batteries and it was in a dark wooded area.
Anyway, I loved seeing all of the other great photos and now I can label it correctly.
Thank you once again.

Are there any Assasin bugs that are dangerous to humans? I know you said they have a painful bite but are the dangerous in any other way?

Kissing Bugs or Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma can spread Chagas Disease, especially in the new world tropics.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Chiriqui, Panama

2 Responses to Bee Killer Assassin Bug from Panama

  1. Hi,
    The bus is in fact am assassin bug of the genus Apiomerus. It is Apiomerus vexillarius. The first photo is a female with the large abdominal expansions and the second photo is a male with just a little expansion. We have no idea what these bright markings are for.

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