Assassin bugs (Family Reduviidae)
|Assassin bugs are common in Queensland and parts of New South Wales. They are generalist predators with large appetites.|
Various species of the Reduviidae family
Adults are 10-30mm long and have:
Nymphs look similar to adults but don’t have wings.
May be confused with
Distribution and habitat
|Most common in tree crops. Also found in broadleaf crops such as cotton, pulses, canola and sunflowers.|
Feeds on many different insects, but prefers soft-bodied prey such as caterpillars and small bugs like green mirids.
Impact on pest
Stabs its prey with stylet-like mouthparts and injects it with an enzyme that dissolves the inner organs. The liquid matter left is sucked out, leaving behind an empty shell.
Nymphs will eat up to 160 small to medium-size helicoverpa larvae in 9-12 weeks.
Factors that influence effectiveness
Research has indicated that assassin bug nymphs have a higher tolerance to some commonly used products than many other beneficials. Compatible insecticide options include NPV, spinosad, indoxacarb and pyriproxyfen.