Zelus leucogrammus (Perty, 1833)

Zhang, Guanyang, Hart, Elwood R & Weirauch, Christiane, 2016, A taxonomic monograph of the assassin bug genus Zelus Fabricius (Hemiptera: Reduviidae): 71 species based on 10,000 specimens, Biodiversity Data Journal 4, pp. 8150-8150 : 8150

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by

Biodiversity Data Journal by Pensoft

scientific name

Zelus leucogrammus (Perty, 1833)


Zelus leucogrammus (Perty, 1833) View in CoL

Reduvius leucogrammus Perty, 1834, p. 174, pl. 34, fig. 14, orig. descr. and fig.

Zelus leucogrammus : Stål, 1872, p. 90, cat. (subgenus Diplodus ); Berg, 1879, p. 152-153, cat., descr. and nymph (subgenus Diplodus ); Lethierry and Severin, 1896, p. 152, cat.; Costa Lima, 1940, p. 7, 218, 224 illus., biol. notes (subgenus Diplocodus ); Wygodzinsky, 1949a, p. 49, checklist; Wygodzinsky, 1957, p. 264, list ( Z. leucogrammus (sic.)); Wygodzinsky, 1960, p. 307, locality; Maldonado, 1990, p. 328, cat.


Figs 118, 119, 120

Male: (Fig. 118a, b, c, d) Large, total length 15.44-19.55 mm (mean=19.05 mm, Suppl. material 2); robust. COLORATION: Reddish and brownish-black. Surface of head primarily reddish, except for around ocellus and lateral stripe on postocular lobe brownish-black, occasional specimens with most of dorsal surface of head brownish-black. Scape and pedicel dark brown; flagellomeres reddish-brown. Dorsal surface of pronotum mostly brownish-black, margins usually reddish, sometimes also with reddish patch at center; lateral surface with mixed red and black. Scutellum red to brownish-black. Hemelytron nearly entirely brownish-black, extreme distal end somewhat reddish. Legs uniformly brownish-black, without bands. Abdomen nearly entirely reddish, sometimes with dark brown patch on connexivum or brownish stripe on posterior margin of segment. Often with whitish wax-like exudation. VESTITURE: Sparsely setose. Similar to that in Z. armillatus ; lacking adpressed setae; some erect setae on dorsum of head and pronotum spine-like. STRUCTURE: Head: Cylindrical, L/W = 2.45. Postocular lobe long; in dorsal view anteriorly gradually narrowing, posterior portion constant, slightly narrower. Eye smallish; lateral margin much wider than postocular lobe; dorsal and ventral margins removed from surfaces of head. Labium: I: II: III = 1: 1.5: 0.4. Basiflagellomere diameter slightly larger than that of pedicel. Thorax: Anterolateral angle bearing small projection; medial longitudinal sulcus shallow near collar, deepening posteriorly. Posterior pronotal lobe with smooth surface; disc distinctly elevated above humeral angle; humeral angle armed, with spinous processes. Scutellum short; apex angulate. Legs: Robust. Hemelytron: Slightly surpassing apex of abdomen, not more than length of abdominal segment seven; quadrate cell moderately large; Cu and M of cubital cell converging towards R. GENITALIA: (Fig. 119) Pygophore: Ovoid; slightly expanded laterally near base of paramere in dorsal view; posteriorly expanded sac-like sclerite between parameres and medial process. Medial process cylindrical; slender; moderately long; posteriorly directed; basally slightly protruding; apex in posterior view truncate, with very inconspicuous lateral prongs. Paramere: Cylindrical; moderately long, not reaching apex of medial process; directed posteriad; slightly curved dorsad; apical part enlarged. Phallus: Dorsal phallothecal sclerite shield-shaped; lateral expansion arising close to base; apical portion of phallothecal sclerite not distinctly tapered, flat, laterally angulate; apex truncate, not emarginate; posterior margin of foramen broadly inversely V-shaped. Struts attached to dorsal phallothecal sclerite; apically separate, connected by bridge; basally separate. Basal plate arm moderately robust; separate; converging; in lateral view slightly curved; bridge short; extension of basal plate expanded onto arm.

Female: (Fig. 118e, f) Similar to male, except for the following. Larger than male, total length 21.67-24.62 mm (mean 21.67 mm, Suppl. material 2).


The black dorsal and red ventral coloration is distinctive of this species. Other diagnostic characters include the legs uniformly black and the posterior pronotal lobe with medial depression.


South America (Fig. 120). Countries with records: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay.

Taxon discussion

Zelus leucogrammus is one of the most distinctive species among Zelus . It can be easily recognized the red and black coloration, the medial depression on the posterior pronotal lobe. Variations in coloration are minimal and is usually seen in the size the dark area on the posterior pronotal lobe.

According to Dr. Heinz Wundt at ZSM (pers. comm.), the type material for this species was destroyed during World War II. The original description lists this species from the Amazon River. As this is such a distinctive species, it is not felt that neotype is needed.