Around and inch long. 6 legs, bigger than a wasp, and orange and black. Found near the coast in the woods in South Carolina.large long-legged orange and black insectenter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. Please edit to include an estimate (in cm or inches) of the size (length) of your bug. Larger than a wasp isn't very precise, especially since there are many different types of wasp! Clearer photos (ideally from multiple angles) would also be helpful. Also note that "is this dangerous" is open to interpretation — I'm going to edit your post to better fit this site's standards, make additional changes as you see fit. Please take the tour and consult the help center starting with How to Ask for details. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I’m just learning about this website! I will try to upload more pictures although I didn’t want to get too close. $\endgroup$
    – Carson D
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ You're welcome. This is almost certainly not especially dangerous to you. One way to avoid a painful bite while getting a sharp close-up would be trapping it in a sealable container and putting in the fridge for ... try 10 min and work up until it is very sluggish ... happy 'hunting'. Alternatively if you have a clear non-distorting container that could also work. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


From these photos, the main features to go on are the dorsal black and red markings, the coloured bands on the legs, the white dots on the abdomen, and the shape of the body. These features does match well with this species, which is common in southern North America:

Milkweed Assassin Bug (Zelus longipes)

The bite from this species is supposed to be very painful.

While not a threat to humans, if not handled properly, a Zelus longipes bite can cause a burning sensation with swelling that may last for several days. https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/bugs/zelus_longipes.htm

Additional resources: https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.php?identification=Milkweed-Assassin-Bug


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree, but this is close to a link-only answer. Answers (and questions) are supposed to be self-sufficient (not require following external links, especially since those can (and do) break making the post much less useful. Please edit to explain why your identification is correct, including a discussion of key features that led you to this conclusion and supporting references or at least validated (as well as public domain & properly attributed) images. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ (+1) Thanks for the edits! $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ I agree. I have edited the post, which hopefully made it more useful. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 22:27
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Hi @Michael. welcome to BIO.SE! We appreciate the answers and quick involvement over the last 2 weeks. Willingness to edit and improve posts is a huge bonus -- thanks!! My only suggestion to you is that when answering questions (especially species-identification Q's) that you avoid citing non-reputable sources. There are so many misidentified organisms (especially insects, plants, and fungi) all over the internet, that we want to avoid sending people to these sources. I think your ThoughtCo piece is decent and relevant in this case, but certainly be mindful moving forward. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 5:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the welcome and friendly advice. It is much appreciated. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 15:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .