Reduviidae

From Academic Kids

Assassin Bugs
Missing image
Reduviidae.jpg



Assassin Bug (Zelus sp.)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Hemiptera
Suborder:Heteroptera
Superfamily:Cimicomorpha
Family:Reduviidae
Subfamilies

Harpactorinae
Reduviinae
Stenopodainae
Emesinae
Apiomerinae
Ectrichodiinae
Peiratinae
Tegeinae
Triatominae
etc.

Reduviidae is a family of predatory insects in the suborder Heteroptera. It includes assassin bugs and wheel bugs (genera include Arilus, Melanolestes, Psellipus, Reduvius, Rhiginia, Sinea, Triatoma, and Zelus), ambush bugs (genera include Apiomerus and Phymata), and thread-legged bugs (the subfamily Emesinae, including the genus Emesaya).

Contents

Physical Characteristics

There are more than 150 species in North America alone, with species existing all over the world. Adult bugs often range from 0.5 to 1.5 inches (11 to 33 mm). It has thick forewings, long legs, and a segmented beak. Most species are dark in color with hues of brown, black, red, or orange.

Feeding

It uses its long proboscis to inject a lethal toxin that liquefies the insides of it prey. It then sucks out the liquefied remains. The legs of these bugs are covered in tiny hairs that serve to make them sticky to hold onto their prey while it feeds. The venom is effective for even larger insects. Some species are also able to spit their venom at the eyes of predators from up to a foot away.

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Predator0653.JPG
A mating pair of apiomerine Reduviidae feeding on a soldier beetle. (Image uploaded to Wikipedia by Pollinator)

They have been known to feed on cockroaches and are regarded in many locations as beneficial. Some people breed them as pets and for insect control.

Human Contact

The assassin bug has been known to bite humans when not handled carefully. For some species the bite is known to be very painful, sometimes with effects lasting up to four months. and sometimes causing allergic reactions.

A few species located in Central and South America carry sometimes fatal trypanosome disease known as Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).

Some reduviidea, particularly Triatoma spp., are also known as kissing bugs due to the most common location of bites on humans.

External links

fr:Reduviidae de:Raubwanzen

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