Zelus versicolor (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848)

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

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Zelus versicolor (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848)


Zelus versicolor (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848) View in CoL

Euagoras versicolor Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848, p. 46-47, Tab. CCLXIV, fig. 820, orig. descr. and fig.; Herrich-Schaeffer, 1853, p. 92, cat.; Walker, 1873, p. 118, note.

Diplodus versicolor , Stål, 1860, p. 75, cat.

Zelus versicolor : Stål, 1862, p. 451, note; Stål, 1872, p. 92, cat. (subgenus Diplodus ); Lethierry and Severin, 1896, p. 153, cat.; Wygodzinsky, 1949a, p. 50, checklist; Maldonado, 1990, p. 332, cat.

Euagoras nigrispinus Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848, p. 47-48, Tab. CCLXII, fig. 816, orig. descr. and fig.; Herrich-Schaeffer, 1853, p. 92, cat. Gil-Santana, 2008, p. 48, Figs 15-21, junior syn. of Zelus versicolor (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848).

Diplodus nigrispinus : Stål, 1860, p. 75, cat.; Stål, 1868, p. 109, note; Walker, 1873, p. 126, cat.

Zelus nigrispinus : Mayr, 1866, p. 139, cat.; Stål, 1872, p. 91, cat. (subgenus Diplodus ); Berg, 1879, p. 154; Lethierry and Severin, 1896, p. 152, cat.; Wygodzinsky, 1949a, p. 49, checklist; Maldonado, 1990, p. 330, cat; Gil-Santana, 2008, p. 48, junior syn. of Z. versicolor .

Zelus personatus Berg, 1879, p. 150-151, orig. descr. (subgenus Zelus ); Lethierry and Severin, 1896, p. 153, cat.; Wygodzinsky, 1949a, p. 50, checklist; Wygodzinsky, 1957, p. 264, 268-269, list and note; Maldonado, 1990, p. 330, cat. syn. nov. (current study).


Type status: Other material. Occurrence: occurrenceRemarks: Holotype of Zeluspersonatus Berg, 1879, junior synonym o Zelusversicolor (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848). Bears the following labels: Typus / Misiones / Zeluspersonatus Berg / Zeluspersonatus Berg, Wygodzinsky det./1555; sex: Adult Male; Taxon: scientificName: Zelusversicolor; family: Reduviidae; genus: Zelus; scientificNameAuthorship: (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848); Location: country: ARGENTINA; stateProvince: Misiones; Identification: identifiedBy: E. R. Hart; dateIdentified: 1972; Event: eventDate: no date provided; Record Level: institutionCode: Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata


Figs 208, 209, 210

Male: (Fig. 208a, b) Medium-sized, total length 11.59-12.94 mm (mean 12.26 mm, Table 4.2); slender. COLORATION: Dark brown to brownish-black. Head ventrally yellowish to pale brown, light color rarely dominant on dorsal surface; postocular lobe with light medial longitudinal line. Pronotum dark brown. Posterior pronotal lobe lighter colored than anterior lobe, sometimes reddish or orangish-brown. Pleura with patches of brown and yellow colors. Profemur, pro- and mesotibiae not banded; mesofemur occasionally with subapical or (and) basal short light-colored band; metafemur sometimes with three short yellowish and three longer darker bands, light and dark bands alternate, but some individuals with just single subapical or basal light band; metatibia sometimes slightly paler medially. Abdomen usually light-colored. VESTITURE: Sparsely setose. Dorsum of head, entire surface of pronotum and pleura with short, spine-like setae and recumbent setae; ventral surfaces of head and abdomen with short, recument and relatively long, erect setae. Setal tracts on anterior pronotal lobe indistinct. Dense, moderately long, erect setae on dorsal surface of paramere. Head pubescence sparse, of mostly recument setae intermixed with short sparse erect setae. Dorsal surface of anterior pronotal lobe covered densely with short, erect, somewhat stout setae; posterior lobe covered densely with short, erect, somewhat stout setae; scutellum with recumbent setae interspersed with short to long, sparse, semierect to erect setae. Corium and clavus with short, recumbent setae. Abdomen with short, recumbent setae intermixed with short to long, erect setae. Ventrally exposed surface of pygophore with dense, short to long, semierect to erect setae; parameres with dense long erect setae over enlarged surface, sparse and shorter ventrally. STRUCTURE: Head: Cylindrical, L/W = 2.37. Postocular lobe long; in dorsal view distinctly narrowing through anterior 2/3, posterior 1/3 constant, tube-like. Eye prominent; lateral margin much wider than postocular lobe; dorsal and ventral margins removed from surfaces of head. Labium: I: II: III = 1: 2.0: 0.4. Basiflagellomere diameter slightly larger than that of pedicel. Thorax: Anterolateral angle rounded, without projection; medial longitudinal sulcus shallow near collar, deepening posteriorly. Posterior pronotal lobe with rugulose surface; disc about same level as humeral angle; humeral angle armed, with dentate projection. Scutellum moderately long; apex angulate, slightly projected upward in some specimens. Legs: Slender. Hemelytron: Slightly surpassing apex of abdomen, not more than length of abdominal segment seven; quadrate cell small; Cu and M of cubital cell subparallel. GENITALIA: (Fig. 209) Pygophore: Ovoid; expanded laterally near base of paramere in dorsal view. Medial process triangular; long; anteroposteriorly compressed; erect; basally without protrusion; apex in posterior view acute; posterior surface with pair of sharp ventrally directed processes. Paramere: Bulbous, moderately long, slightly exceeding medial process; curved toward medial process; basally constricted; slightly curved ventrad; apical part enlarged. Phallus: Dorsal phallothecal sclerite somewhat squarish; laterally with small blade-like heavily sclerotized process; apical portion of phallothecal sclerite not distinctly tapered, laterally indistinctly angulate, angulation anteriorly connected with membranous, dorsad expansion; apex rounded, medially emarginate; posterior margin of foramen broadly concave. Struts attached to dorsal phallothecal sclerite; apically separate, connected by bridge; basally mostly separate, moderately fused. Basal plate arm moderately robust; separate; subparallel; in lateral view severely curved, nearly semi-circular; bridge long; extension of basal plate expanded onto arm.

Female: Similar to male, except for the following. Larger than male, total length 14.43-15.84 mm (mean 15.01 mm, Table 4.2). Dorsum dark brown, a large number of specimens with anterior 1/2 of posterior pronotal lobe yellow and some also with entire anterior pronotal lobe yellow; lateral surface and abdomen yellowish. Hemelytron slightly surpassing apex of abdomen.


Recognized by the following combination of characters: the posterior pronotal lobe usually lighter than the anterior pronotal lobe, orangish or reddish-brown; the paramere bulbous, basally constricted, curved towards medial process; the medial process triangular, apex with pair of processes; the dorsal phallothecal sclerite with submedial ridge-like dorsad projection continuous from basal arm; and the basal plate arms subparallel and strongly curved. In females the posterior pronotal lobe is often bicolorous, anterior portion yellowish and posterior portion brown.


South America (Fig. 210). Countries with records: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guiana and Paraguay.

Taxon discussion

The type specimens of Z. versicolor and Z. nigrispinus were destroyed during World War II.