Red Spot Assassin Bug from Tanzania

Mystery Tanzanian bug
Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 10:07 AM
Mystery Tanzanian bug
Dear WTB,
I’m hoping someone can help me identify this splendid black and red specimen that was given to me as a Christmas present (yes really!) last week by the manager of the Sable Mountain safari lodge in the Selous game reserve, eastern Tanzania. He didn’t know what it is either, but he thought I might like it (!).
It was about 2 inches long in the body and has a strange curved mouthpart. Sorry the photo is blurry as it was camera shy and kept moving!
Selous game reserve, Tanzania

Red Spot Assassin Bug
Red Spot Assassin Bug

Hi Sally,
Your strikingly beautiful insect is a Red Spot Assassin Bug, Platymeris laevicollis, which we located on the Saint Louis Zoo Website, or a closely related species.  If mishandled, Assassin Bugs will deliver a painful bite.

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