The Assassin Bug originates in Africa. A venomous predatory bug with a painful sting, like that of a hornet. They are also capable of spitting digestive enzymes when threatened! Growing up to 40mm, they are fascinating pets for more experienced keepers.
These bugs can reach sizes of 10-40mm in length. They are black in colour, generally seen with the top of the legs yellow, with two distinctive white spots on their wings. They have sharp proboscis which is used to pierce the exoskeleton of their prey. They then inject saliva which liquifies the insect before sucking out the digestive fluids. They are capable of spitting enzymes if threatened, and have a painful bite which is comparable to a hornet sting. It is safe to say that this is not a beginner species!
They originate from humid tropical forest areas of southwest Africa.
Assassin bugs can be kept communally, but must be kept well fed to avoid cannibalism. They are mainly terrestrial, and require a secure, escape proof glass terrarium which is approximately 3x the length of the bug. The Assassin bug requires ambient temperatures of around 23-26°C during the daytime when they are most active. At night time, temperatures can be as low as 18°C. Any heat source used must be controlled by using a suitable thermostat, ensuring your bugs are maintained at the optimum temperature.
Daily misting of the enclosure using a spray bottle helps maintain humidity levels and dampens the decor, foliage and substrate. A shallow water dish can also be added.
The only limit with a natural terrarium is your imagination, we suggest looking at the natural habitat of these bugs and recreating a small piece of their habitat in your own home! A soil based substrate to cover the floor to a depth of around 5cm is recommended and then a layer of leaf litter, cork bark and moss on top can help to retain moisture.
They will prey upon other suitably sized insects readily, they have a voracious appetite. The bulk of the diet should consist of appropriately sized Crickets, Locusts and Roaches for larger adults. This can be varied by occasionally offering appropriately sized Mealworms, Waxworms. Prey should be offered 1-2 times per week.
Please note: Assassin Bugs are not a beginner species, they are fast and defensive. Do not attempt to handle and use long tweezers when feeding or performing tank maintenance.