Diagnosis and Specialized Morphology

Holoptilinae are sometimes referred to as feather-legged assassin bugs. Most members of this subfamily are characterized by:

  1. long to very long setae on body and legs
  2. forewing membrane usually with one closed cell or two longitudinal veins
  3. antennal flagellomeres sometimes fused
  4. some species with trichome and associated gland on abdominal sternum 3


Taxonomic History

According to Wygodzinsky & Usinger (1963), Holoptilinae is comprised of about 80 species (15 genera) in three tribes: Holoptilini, Dasycnemini, and Aradellini. Wygodzinsky & Usinger also produced a key to the genera in the same publication.


Natural History/Biology

Most holoptiline species occur in the southern Palearctic, Old World tropics, and Australia (Malipatil 1985, Schuh & Slater 1995. One genus, Neolocoptiris Wygodzinsky & Usinger, is found in Guyana (Schuh & Slater 1995).


Check out revisions of the subfamily here!



Malipatil, M.B. 1985. Revision of Australian Holoptilinae (Reduviidae: Heteroptera). Aust. J. Zool. 33: 283-299.

Schuh, R.T., Slater, J.A. 1995. True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera): Classification and Natural History. Comstock Pub. Associates, Ithaca. 336 pp.

Wygodzinsky, P., Usinger, R.L. 1963. Classification of the Holoptinae and description of the first representive from the New World (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). Proc. R. Entomol. Soc. Lond. (B) 32: 47-52.


Let us help you with your search