assassin bug

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Related to assassin bug: kissing bug

assassin bug,

common name for members of the family Reduviidae, one of the largest and most varied groups belonging to the order Hemiptera (suborder Heteroptera). Assassin bugs are generally brownish to black, medium-sized to large insects, with heads that are elongate and narrow compared to the thorax. The raptorial front legs are used for grasping prey. Most assassin bugs are found on foliage, and some occasionally enter houses. The majority of species are predaceous on other insects, but a few are bloodsucking and will bite humans if carelessly handled. The bite of some species is painless, while the bite of others is extremely painful, resulting from a venom produced by the bug, the effect of which lasts for months. A painful biter is the common, black, wheel bug (Arilus cristatus), easily identified by the semicircular crest resembling a cogwheel on the top of its prothorax. Another is the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus), often found in houses where it preys on bedbugs and other insects. The adults often bite humans around the mouth and eyes, hence its other common name, the kissing bug. In the United States assassin bugs of the genus Triatoma are found in the south, and are most common in the Southwest. Often also called conenoses, chinches, or Mexican bedbugs, they can invade houses and may bite humans. Certain species of this genus are the vectors for a sometimes fatal trypanosometrypanosome
, microscopic, one-celled protozoan of the genus Trypanosoma, typically living as an active parasite in the bloodstream of a vertebrate; hundreds of species are known. A trypanosome is long and pointed and possesses a flagellum.
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 disease known as Chagas' diseaseChagas' disease,
disease of South and Central America caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. It usually affects children and young adults and is transmitted by the feces of infected insects, typically the assassin bug.
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, which is most common in rural Central and South America. Assassin bugs are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Hemiptera, family Reduviidae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Sticky predators: a comparative study of sticky glands in harpactorinae assassin bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae).
There are many different kinds of assassin bugs. The one I found is called a giant wheel bug.
Molecular phylogeny of the assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal genes.
The male assassin bug sacrifices some of his offspring during his vigil, says Manica.
Revisiting paternal care in the assassin bug, Atopozelus pallens (Heteroptera: Reduviidae).
It includes bed bugs, assassin bugs, damsel bugs, and lace bugs.
Both the videotape and the posters revealed their accurate understanding of the physical attributes and behaviors of the assassin bug.
The use of chemosensory information from webs was demonstrated experimentally for Stenolemus bituberus, another assassin bug that preys on web-building spiders (Wignall & Taylor, 2009).
Chagas disease is transmitted by the bite of the assassin bug or vinchuca and is particularly endemic in poorer areas of Latin America and the Caribbean.
All but one species of the assassin bug genus Zelus Fabricius (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) (~60 spp.) are restricted to the New World where they are roughly distributed between Argentina and Canada, including the Caribbean (Maldonado 1990; Hart 1972; 1986, 1987).
Key words: Thread-legged assassin bug, Emesinae: Reduviidae: new species.