Insects belonging to the Hemipteran family Reduviidae are collectively known as “Assassin Bugs.” The family includes over 160 species in North America and all are meat eaters. The common name for the family clearly describes how these stealthy hunters make a living.
Family members sport two features important to their predatory behavior: raptorial front legs and piercing-sucking mouthparts. The front legs of assassin bug are designed for grabbing and holding prey. Their mouthparts, called a “beak,” then swing into action to inject paralyzing and pre-digestive enzymes into their prey. They then suck the essence-of-insect from their hapless victims.