Milkweed Assassin Bug: Adult and Nymph

Predatory Orange Bug
November 1, 2009
These bugs are everywhere in my butterfly garden! They rapidly consume the caterpillars, and the favorite food seems to be the Cloudless Sulphur cats. Getting these photos was difficult as they kept flying away, but I finally got a few….
Any ideas on what these might be?
Thanks so much!
Houston, TX

Milkweed Assassin Bug
Milkweed Assassin Bug

Because of its resemblance to the Milkweed Bug, your insect, Zelus longipes, is known as a Milkweed Assassin Bug, though it is not typically associated with Milkweed.  Both wingless nymphs and winged adults feed on soft bodied insects like caterpillars, and they are generally thought of as beneficial in the garden where they feed on armyworms and cucumber beetle larvae.  If carelessly handled, Milkweed Assassin Bugs might bite and the bite is reported to be painful.

Milkweed Assassin Bug Nymph
Milkweed Assassin Bug Nymph

Thanks so much! I really appreciate yall’s site. The Unnecessary
Carnage page was definitely my favorite – please ignore the Nasty
Readers 🙂

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