Bug Identification help needed, possible disease vector?
April 13, 2016 5:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a positive ID on this bug before I get rid of it. I think it is some type of assassin bug. I live in south Georgia.

I found this guy on the edge of my tea jug. I initially tried to ID it just because it was neat looking. He is in a ziplock bag at the moment.

But then I found an article on Chagas Disease which recommended alcohol preservation and delivery to my local county extension office.

So, what is it, and do I need to take it in?
posted by Talia Devane to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
 
Google tells me it is a Milkweed Assasin Bug (Zelus longpipes) and I have no idea if you want to take it in or not, but probably you want to at least call them and email the pic.

Link here.
posted by jbenben at 6:00 PM on April 13, 2016


Looks like a beneficial Milkweed Assassin Bug.

"The beneficial qualities of assassin bugs far outweigh their negative potential, and learning to get along with these indispensable predators is in our own best interest."
posted by cecic at 6:01 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Your county extension office is totally worth finding an excuse to visit.
posted by SMPA at 7:28 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think assassin bugs are associated with Chagas disease . Besides assassin bugs don't seek out people and bite them, Kissing bugs do that. That's how people get infected, from bites. I'm not familiar with milkweed assassin bugs but if it's truly an assassin bug I'd say let it go in your garden.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:00 PM on April 14, 2016


OK sorry, just read the article you linked to. I didn't know some people call kissing bugs "assassin bugs." I have seen actual kissing bugs and they are much bigger and heavier bodied than the bugs more commonly known as assassin bugs. The thing is, juveniles can look different from adults so it's not possible for me to say with certainty it's not a kissing bug, but I'm guessing it's probably not. If you get it identified I'd be interested to know for sure.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:09 PM on April 14, 2016


Following up on the Milkweed Assassin Bug, it looks like that's it for sure. So, benign and not a problem.

The only mystery now is how did a non-flying, non-jumping garden hunter get into my kitchen and why did it want my tea? It was definitely tasting it.

Thanks for the help. I had managed to get it down to species, but Milkweeds don't show up on the lists I was using as being in Georgia.
posted by Talia Devane at 5:12 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


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