there are many versions of this aggressive beneficial insect
Order: Hemiptera (true bugs)
Images - I. Lindsey
Assassin bugs are appropriately named because of their habit of lying
in ambush for their insect prey. With speed and accuracy, this bug uses
its long "beak" to stab the victim and then inject it with a lethal toxin
that dissolves the victim's tissue, then it sucks up the liquefied tissues
through its long beak
Assassin bugs are aggressive and not afraid to attack creatures much
larger than itself. They will inflict a very painful bite to humans
if handled carelessly, causing a severe reaction in some persons. As you
can see in the picture on the left, the beak is rather large and the beast
can manuever it very quickly to not only impale its victim but to inject
The Assassin bug pictured above is a dull-colored variety found on milkweed growing in the Alkali Meadow. The common variety, pictured at the top of the page, is much more colorful and found everywhere in the Central Valley. Assassin bugs prey on other insects and benefits people because it eats many non-beneficial insects that are pests to farmers and ornamental gardeners.
Most Assassin bugs are found in late June to early August, but can be active year-round in the Central Valley of California. These bugs have a long narrow head, long beak (three-segmented), long slender antennae (four-segmented) and an abdomen often widened at the middle exposing the margins of the segments beyond the wings. An adult may reach 3/4" long.
Assassin bugs, sometimes known as conenoses or "kissing bugs," are occasionally found in the home (bathtubs, sinks, drains, etc.).