Well Camouflaged True Bug from Australia is Long Assassin Bug

Master of Disguise
July 22, 2010
Hi guys,
Having problems trying to use the form to submit so in case it didn’t get through here is my query.
I found this today and thought I had found a spider in the Tetragnathidae family (Long Jawed Spiders) but on close examination realised it was a true bug doing a great job of disguising itself. It doesn’t appear to have a proboscis which would rule out the assassins. Any ideas or has anyone seen something like this before?

Unknown True Bug

Hi Trevor,
We love getting letters from you.  You always provide us with such interesting Australian creatures and your photos are always wonderful.

Alas, we cannot identify your True Bug, but we hope that by posting your letter in our new “Featured” section, one of our readers may write in and provide an identification and some details.  We will also contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide a family, though his area of expertise is North American species.

Eric Eaton provides his opinion
Daniel:  The Australian thing is a nymph of some kind.  I’d have to side with Reduviidae, though my first thought was a walkingstick.
Sorry, you are better at Aussie bugs now than I am!

Karl writes in
Hi Daniel and Trevor:
Like Eric, my first thought was Walkingstick; I then flirted briefly with Stilt Bugs and finally landed on Assassin Bugs.  It appears to be a species of Australcmena, an Australian genus with only two reported species, A. lineativentris and A. handschini. According to the site “Die Raubwanzen der Welt” (www.reduviidae.de) the two are synonymous and A. lineativentris is the only species in the genus. I could find absolutely no other information about this curious bug. Regards. Karl

Karl provides some additional information
I somehow missed this earlier but the “Brisbane Insects and Spiders” site and the “Lifeunseen” site both have pictures of Australcmena lineativentris adults, also known as the Long Assassin Bug. Not surprisingly, they look quite different from the nymph in Trevor’s photo but some features are consistent. You can just make out the rudimentary spikes on the back of the nymph’s pronotum for instance. Australcmena belongs in the Harpactorinae subfamily. K

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