Assassin Bug (Gminatus australis)

Order: Hemiptera (he-MIP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Reduviidae
Genus: Gminatus
Species: australis (aw-STRAL-iss) (Info)

Regional

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Citrus Heights, California
Lutz, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Marietta, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Kenner, Louisiana
Summerville, South Carolina
Butler, Tennessee
Cibolo, Texas
Lake Jackson, Texas
Manvel, Texas
Show all

Members' Notes:

1
positive
2
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Neutral

On Apr 8, 2013, nrnbrg from Marietta, GA wrote:

I have seen them in large numbers since the early 1980's, when I noticed them on a watermelon, somewhat upright in posture like a mantis; and seeming to be staring at one another (like insects at a cocktail party). This year I spotted many starting in March. I often see them "in tandem" as if a larger bug is dragging a smaller bug by its tail. I am concerned about them but have not tried to control them.

Neutral

On Jan 30, 2012, minpin3165 from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I am going to go neutral on this guy cause I am torn. I see wasps, spiders, etc eat my caterpillars too but I dont hate them. I watch and make sure there are enough aphids to keep them happy. balance man....

Positive

On Jul 18, 2008, crissyr from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

Assassin bugs are just like spiders. The good thing is they will eat the bugs that are eating your plants. The bad thing is they will eat everything else too. Praying Mantis are like this too. I like having them because my plants are saved!

Negative

On Jun 12, 2008, caroldb from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

The orange and black assassin bug is prevalent in the entire New Orleans area.
Although agricultural botanists are trying to promote it as a 'beneficial' insect for agricultural crops, it is a major killer of other beneficial insects in gardens.
It will attack insects and butterfly caterpillars and bees and ladybug larvae and even lizards! It will attack creatures much larger than itself because of the deadliness of the toxin it injects.
In a butterfly garden it is difficult to eradicate, since you don't want to use insecticides. I've been reduced to wearing rubber gloves and squashing them.