Zelus Assassin Bug

Painful small flying insect sting
Fri, Dec 26, 2008 at 10:54 AM
My wife was taking a bag outside when she felt a sting on her finger. She had to physically remove the bug off her finger. She indicated that the sting was quite painful like a wasp. It never tried to fly off and we were able to easily capture it. We didn’t see a stinger in her finger but it did leave a small hole and with a white circle around the sting area. We tried looking through your site and thought it seemed similar to a scorpion fly but it seems those don’t sting. Hopefully you can identify it. Thanks !
Central Texas

Zelus Assassin Bug
Zelus Assassin Bug

This is an Assassin Bug in the genus Zelus.  We have difficulty providing identifications to the species level in this genus except for a few distinctive species.  We frequently get reports of Zelus Assassin Bugs biting people.  They do not bite people for food and there must be some other reason for the bit occurring, like a reaction to some physical contact.  Our reports are that the bite is quite painful, but that there is no lasting negative effect.  You can try searching BugGuide for additional information.

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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