Subject: Insect ID
Location: Northampton, MA, USA
May 29, 2016 11:39 am
I was using a new macro lens the other day and found this insect. Try as I might – and I am quite skilled in Internet searches- I was unable to identify it. I even posted it on my FB page and friends have suggested beetle, lacewing, male praying mantis or katydid. I just don’t see it.
If, when you identify, you could also explain the 2 black tips, I would appreciate it.
Thanks very much!
Signature: Keitheley Wilkinson
Thanks to this BugGuide image, we are confident that your Assassin Bug is Zelus luridus, a species commonly called the Pale Green Assassin Bug, which BugGuide notes is “rather unfortunate invention, given color variation.” BugGuide also notes: “The base color of Z. luridus is apple green, and markings on the back may be very dark or rather light. The legs sometimes have dark or red bands on the distal ends of the femurs, but these can often be so light as to be almost invisible. When I’ve seen mating pairs, the males tend to be the darker ones, with the more pronounced red leg bands. The best feature for recognition is the pair of delicate spines on the rear corners of the pronotum, which are rather long on the light colored individuals and shorter on the dark.” The “2 black tips” to which you refer are those delicate spines, and we suspect they may have evolved to make swallowing a Pale Green Assassin Bug more difficult, thereby dissuading predators.