Common assassin bug








Pristhesancus plagipennis

Bee killer


This is a reddish-brown to rusty coloured assassin bug with the typically skinny neck, small head and conspicuous proboscis or rostrum and transparent wings. The nymphs are mainly black with orange abdomens. They go through a number of wingless stages, becoming more like the adult with each moult. They are fairly slow moving, living in trees and bushes amongst the foliage waiting to ambush their prey.

Adult size: 25-30mm

Out and about

As they are predatory, assassin bugs will be about when their food source, namely other insects, are also around. They like warmer climates and in cooler areas the adults will over winter and emerge again in the spring. This assassin bug is native to Australia and it is concentrated mainly along the coastal areas of Queensland and New South Wales.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The female lays a cluster of forty to eighty upright, vase-shaped, brownish-orange eggs. In cooler climates the adults will lay dormant over winter. Nymphs go through five instars before reaching adulthood. Their life cycle ranges from 85 to 100 days depending on environmental conditions.

To deter

To control

Plants to repel

Plants to attract

Alfalfa / Carrot / Oleander


Why they are Beneficial
Both adults and nymphs are voracious predators, but unfortunately they are indiscriminate hunters so they will get a few good bugs as well as many pests. This bug is often referred to as the bee killer assassin bug because of its preference for bees although it will feed on any insect it can catch. They ambush their prey and then with their piercing proboscis they stab and inject saliva, causing the insides to turn to liquid which they then suck up.