Zelus vagans Fabricius, 1803

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 vagans Fabricius, 1803


Zelus vagans Fabricius, 1803 View in CoL

Zelus vagans Fabricius, 1803, p. 284, orig. descr.; Stål, 1868, p. 108, descr. and note; Stål, 1872, p. 88, cat.; Walker, 1873, p. 134, cat.; Lethierry and Severin, 1896, p. 153, cat.; Wygodzinsky, 1949a, p. 50, checklist; Maldonado, 1990, p. 332, cat.


Type status: Holotype. Occurrence: catalogNumber: UCR_ENT 00075107 ; recordedBy: Dom. Smidt; sex: Adult Male; otherCatalogNumbers: ZMUC 102689; Taxon: scientificName: Zelusvagans; family: Reduviidae; genus: Zelus; scientificNameAuthorship: Fabricius, 1803; Location: country: unknown; stateProvince: unknown; locality: Habitat in America meridionali ; Identification: identifiedBy: G. Zhang; dateIdentified: 2012; Event: eventDate: No date provided; Record Level: institutionCode: ZMUC


Figs 202, 203, 204

Male: (Fig. 202) Medium-sized, total length 11.29-14.71 mm (mean 13.71 mm, Table 4.2); slender. COLORATION: Entire surface of head, antenna and labium dark brown; extremely slender medial longitudinal lighter stripe on postocular lobe. Anterior pronotal lobe dark brown. Medial longitudinal dark brown stripe on posterior pronotal lobe; rest of dorsal surface orange; lateral surface dark brown or orange. Scutellar disc dark brown, margins orange or brown. Sternites dark brown. Corium proximally dark brown, distally orange, proportions of brown and orange vary slightly among specimens, sometimes with rather small dark brown patch at very distal. Clavus orange. Membrane dark brown; veins same color as rest. Legs dark brown; profemur with or without band; meso- and metafemora each with two orange bands, apical band usually smaller. Abdominal segments 2-6 reddish, amount on segment 6 varies; segment seven and pygophore dark brown. VESTITURE: Densely setose. Dorsum with short, erect, spine-like setae, dense on anteocular lobe, sparse on postocular lobe; dense, short, recumbent setae over entire dorsal surface of postocular lobe; ventral surface also with sparse, short to moderately long, erect, fine setae. Pronotum primarily with dense, short, erect, spine-like setae on dorsal and lateral surfaces; spine-like setae on pleura sparse, mainly with longer, erect, fine setae and short, recumbent setae; scutellum with dense, short to long, semi-erect to recumbent setae; spine-like setae sparse. Legs with sparse setae; sundew setae on profemur sparse and randomly arranged. Corium and clavus with dense, recumbent, stout setae. Abdomen with moderately dense, short, semi-erect, fine setae, interspersed with sparse, longer, erect setae; segment seven in some specimens with setae covered with white wax-like exudation. Pygophore with short to long, semi-erect setae; dense, moderately long, semi-erect setae nearly throughout dorsal, inner surface of paramere. STRUCTURE: Head: Cylindrical, L/W = 2.34. Postocular lobe in dorsal view anteriorly gradually narrowing, posterior portion constant, slightly narrower. Eye moderately sized; lateral margin only slightly wider than postocular lobe; dorsal margin removed from postocular transverse groove, ventral margin attaining ventral surface of head in lateral view. Labium: I: II: III = 1: 1.5: 0.4. Basiflagellomere diameter slightly larger than that of pedicel. Thorax: Anterolateral angle rounded, without projection; medial longitudinal sulcus evident throughout, deepening posteriorly. Disc distinctly elevated above humeral angle; humeral angle rounded, without projection. Scutellum moderately long; apex pointed, sometimes as short process, not projected. Legs: Very slender. Hemelytron: Greatly surpassing apex of abdomen by about 3x length of abdominal segment seven; quadrate cell large and broad; Cu and M of cubital cell subparallel. GENITALIA: (Fig. 203) Pygophore: Ovoid; mid-lateral fold adjacent to paramere insertion; not expanded laterally in dorsal view. Medial process somewhat cone-shaped, laterally compressed toward apex; moderately long; posteriorly directed, in less than forty-five degree with body axis; nearly straight; apex in posterior view blunt. Paramere: Cylindrical; moderately long, reaching about mid-point of medial process; directed posteriad, slightly curved towards medial process; slightly curved ventrad; apical part not enlarged. Phallus: Dorsal phallothecal sclerite elongated; medial portion with dorsal paired hump; apical portion of phallothecal sclerite gradually tapering, carinate medially, laterally angulate; apex with small medial emargination; 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 slender; separate; subparallel; in lateral view nearly straight, very slightly curved; bridge moderately long; extension of basal plate small, marginally expanded onto arm.

Female: Unknown.


Can be easily identified by the unique coloration pattern, the posterior pronotal lobe medially black and laterally orange. Distinguished among members of the Zelus vagans species group by the smaller size; the postocular lobe covered with recumbent setae. The paramere is similar to that in Z. championi in showing ventrally directed curvature, but is shorter than in Z. championi and reaching to only about mid-point of medial process.


South America (Fig. 204). Countries with records: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.