The orange assassin bug, Pselliopus barberi, is about ½ inch long and is one of our most attractive non-butterfly insects. It is one of nearly 200 species of assassin bugs in North America. It is golden orange with black-banded legs and a series of black marks along the outer margin of the abdomen. The antennae are banded with black, too.
Learn more about this and other members of the assassin bug family on their family page.
Similar species: A close relative, Pselliopus cinctus, has a very similar patterning but is typically more brownish or tan and is less orange. It differs in several subtle markings as well.
Length: to about ½ inch.
Habitat and Conservation
During summer, adults are typically seen on various types of plants, such as wildflowers in open areas, when they hunt insect prey. In spring and fall, however, adults are commonly seen on tree trunks, and therefore in wooded areas.
Orange assassin bugs overwinter in groups as adults under loose bark or other crevices of trees. More than 100 individuals have been recorded in a single overwintering aggregation. Apparently there is only one generation per year, with springtime mating and young becoming noticeable in midsummer.