How to Tell Pselliopus cinctus from Pselliopus barberi

Assassin Bugs

Pselliopus barberi, Assassin Bugs
Pselliopus cinctus, compared with P. barberi

Pselliopus barberi

The base of the scutellum is straight across

Pselliopus cinctus

Note the bisinuate base of the pronotum


Characteristic in Pselliopus barberi in Pselliopus cinctus
Overall color Orange Less bright orange or brownish-yellow
Base of pronotum Straight Bisinuate
Black markings on anterior lobe of pronotum

Few to none

More black markings than P. barberi
Black markings on head Less black than P. cinctus More black than P. barberi
Black markings on scutellum Few to none; possibly 2 oblique streaks Present, and more than a couple of streaks
Short spine before the rounded humeral angle Doesn't reach humerus. Blunt tip points out to sides Projects beyond humerus. Sharp tip points toward rear
Elevation of pronotum Ridge or keel running lengthwise Essentially flat
Egg clusters Linear Circular
Duration of 5th instar 21-38 days 12-25 days
Black marking on anteocular part of head, in 2nd to 5th instar nymph No V-shaped mark V shaped mark, from base of antenniferous tubercules, with the point of the V between the eyes


Pselliopus barberi nymph, assassin bugs Pselliopus cinctus nymph, family Reduviidae

Nymph of Pselliopus barberi

No V-shaped mark in anteocular area

Nymph of Pselliopus cinctus with beetle prey

With V-shaped mark in anteocular area

See Davis (1912); Readio (1926); Blatchley (1926); Swadener and Yonke (1975).

See also our individual pages for Pselliopus barberi and Pselliopus cinctus

These two species have a largely similar, overlapping range (though there are more published records of P. cinctus).

Information about how to separate the two species has been hard to find for many years, and to prevent errors of earlier records from causing an erroneous map, we are combining the two species' records in this map:

Map, Pselliopus cinctus and P. barberi

A note about our maps

There are as yet no records outside the United States for Pselliopus cinctus or Pselliopus barberi.

American Insects site