The Deadly Assassin

27 November 2010
There are many species of assassin bugs, but all are characterized by their swift and deadly killing action on their prey. They would typically sport a long proboscis used for stabbing their prey, and inject a toxin that dissolves the victim’s tissues.

A viscious bug, but the assassin bug plays an important role in maintaining theinsect populations in forests. It was my model of the day, most other subjects just flew off when they saw me! ūüôĀ This species is the Cosmolestes picticeps (Reduviidae kingdom) – likely to be a juvenile – quite common in Singapore.

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9641#1 Normal side profile of the tiny dude, about 1cm in length

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9664#2 Used macro adapter for a closer view, you can even see my camera in it’s eyes!!

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9683#3 Busy dude polishing it’s feelers

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9683#4 Still version in case you can’t stand looking at animations

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9686#5 Close-up on the proboscis, it’s gonna be a really painful stab when assassinated!

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9697#6 Side view closeup

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9710#7 Top view closeup. The wings seem to be underdeveloped, probably a juvenile?

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9728b#8 Last shot of the assassin

Planthopper (Fuulgoromorpha) - DSC_9582#9 Flatid planthopper (flatidae) I used to think it’s a moth..!

Planthopper (Fuulgoromorpha) - DSC_9590#10 Derbid hopper (derbidae), thanks to budak for ID!

DSC_9594#11 Mating fruit flies stealing a kiss

DSC_9597#12 The duo taking a break

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9620#13 Jumping spider caught a fruit fly ūüôĀ

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9624#14 Slowly munching away

Dragonfly (Anisoptera) - DSC_9733#15 Dragonfly

Dragonfly (Anisoptera) - DSC_9739#16 Closeup on it’s face. Looks like bugs bunny grinning away!!

The complete album can be viewed here.
  1. Reply


    28 November 2010

    hi, the tiny 'moth' (#9) should be a flatid planthopper (flatidae), while #10 is a derbid hopper (derbidae). The dragonfly is:

  2. Reply

    Nicky Bay

    28 November 2010

    Thanks for the IDs budak! Is this a flatid planthopper as well?

    It has the exact same shape as #9, just different colours. Most pictures of this bug were of it's side profile so I wasn't sure.

  3. Reply


    29 November 2010


    that one is a ricaniid planthopper. flatids usually hold their wings in a tent like position, while ricaniids keep the wings flat. but sometimes it's not too clear. I suspect #9 could be a ricaniid too.



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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