Zelus spatulosus Zhang & Hart

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 spatulosus Zhang & Hart

sp. n.

Zelus spatulosus Zhang & Hart View in CoL   ZBK sp. n.


Type status: Holotype. Occurrence: catalogNumber: UCR_ENT 00008002 ; occurrenceRemarks: Additional labels: J C Lutz Collection 1961, Property USNM; recordedBy: J. J. White; sex: Adult Male; Taxon: scientificName: Zelusspatulosus; family: Reduviidae; genus: Zelus; scientificNameAuthorship: Zhang and Hart, 2016; Location: country: BELIZE; stateProvince: Toledo; locality: Rio Grande ; decimalLatitude: 16.13333; decimalLongitude: -88.75; georeferenceSources: Gazetteer; Identification: identifiedBy: G. Zhang; dateIdentified: 2013; Event: eventDate: 1931-07-12; Record Level: institutionCode: USNM GoogleMaps


Figs 179, 180, 181

Male: (Fig. 179) Medium-sized, total length 13.17 mm (n=1); slender. COLORATION: Dorsum of anteocular lobe dark reddish-brown, remainder of surface yellowish-brown to light reddish-brown. Postocular lobe dark reddish-brown, light reddish-brown areas around ocellus, behind compound eyes laterally, and on wide mid-ventral line, yellowish-brown mid-dorsal line. Rostrum and antennae dark reddish-brown. Anterior pronotal lobe reddish-brown with light reddish-brown area lateroventrally. Posterior lobe slightly lighter than anterior lobe, lateral margins and adjacent area of lateral surface light reddish-brown. Scutellum reddish-brown. Basal area and apical part of profemur dark reddish-brown, remainder variably banded, light to medium reddish-brown, basal area, apex and two bands on meso and metafemora dark reddish-brown, remainder light reddish-brown, tibiae medium to dark reddish-brown with light reddish-brown band about half distance from base. Abdomen reddish-brown, connexival margins lighter, anterior margins of segments three to seven dark reddish-brown. VESTITURE: Moderately setose. Anteocular lobe with short, recumbent to erect setae. Postocular lobe with short, recumbent setae, some long, erect setae on lateral and ventral surfaces. Anterior pronotal lobe with moderately long, recumbent to semi-erect setae, confined to setal tracts dorsally, long erect setae laterally. Posterior pronotal lobe with short, recumbent setae, long erect setae laterally. Scutellum with recumbent to semi-erect setae. Dense recumbent to semi-erect setae over clavus and corium. Abdomen with short, erect setae on dorsum, dense, short, recumbent and moderate to long erect setae over lateral and ventral surface, with exception of bare dark areas. Exposed surface of pygophore with short semi-erect and long erect setae. STRUCTURE: Head: Cylindrical, L/W = 2.12. Postocular lobe moderately long; in dorsal view anteriorly gradually narrowing, posterior portion constant, slightly narrower. Eye moderately sized; lateral margin only slightly wider than postocular lobe; dorsal margin attaining postocular transverse groove, ventral margin removed from ventral surface of head in lateral view. Labium: I: II: III = 1: 1.7: 0.6. Thorax: Anterolateral angle of collar rounded, collar not well defined medially; medial longitudinal sulcus evident only on posterior 1/2, deepening anterior to transverse sulcus of pronotum. Posterior pronotal lobe with finely rugulose surface; disc slightly elevated above humeral angle; humeral angle armed, with dentate process. Scutellum moderately long; apex angulate, not projected. Legs: Rather slender. Metafemur slightly more slender than pro- and mesofemora. Hemelytron: Surpassing apex of abdomen by more than length of abdominal segment seven; quadrate cell small; Cu and M of cubital cell converging towards R. GENITALIA: (Fig. 180) Pygophore: Elongate ovoid; not expanded laterally in dorsal view. Medial process laterally compressed; slender; long; semi-erect; straight; apex in posterior view blunt, without modification. Paramere: moderately long, reaching medial process; apical part greatly expanded. Phallus: Dorsal phallothecal sclerite elongated; apical portion tapered, slightly convex, lateral margins recurved upward; apex with rounded protuberances, posterior margin of foramen inversely V-shaped. Struts not readily evident. Basal plate arm moderately robust; basally fused; in lateral view nearly straight, very slightly curved; bridge short; extension of basal plate reduced.

Female: unknown.


Zelus spatulosus has a rather distinctly enlarged apical part of the paramere (Fig. 180a), the extent not compared by any other species of Zelus . Also, the slender form of the medial process is distinctive among the Zelus luridus species group.


The specific epithet is from spatula, referring to the rather broad apical part of the paramere.


Central America (Fig. 181). Known only from the type locality in Belize.

Taxon discussion

The primary basis for placing Z. spatulosus in the Zelus luridus group is the expanded paramere (Fig. 3). However, this species shows several characters which depart significantly from the remaining species as described in the following. The medial process is slender and laterally compressed, the struts are not evidently visible, the dorsal phallothecal sclerite is distinctly shaped, with a narrow basal portion and expanded apical part, and the basal plate arms are fused. These characters are so distinct that they are possibly either autapomorphic or homoplasious. As no characters are found to unite Z. spatulosus with species of other species group, its placement in the Zelus luridus species group appears to be the best decision to take.