Like most true bugs, this family has membranous wings that fold flat along the back when at rest (often creating an X pattern on the back), and strawlike mouthparts specialized for piercing and sucking. Assassin bugs are a very large group with diverse body forms, but most are black or brown (sometimes orange, yellow, or red) with a rather oval body. The head is usually narrow, and the antennae long, thin, and often jointed. All have a clawlike beak with 3 segments that can fold into a groove beneath the insect’s body. The first segment on the first pair of legs is usually thickened, and the sides of the abdomen often extend beyond wings. Hatchlings often look like ants or baby praying mantises.