Here is a bug that actually gives me the creeps a little. Assassin Bugs in general, are cool looking but they all have an eerie air to them for some reason..
Perhaps it is because some of the blood sucking species, such as the Kissing Bug, not only dine on mammal blood but also b/c they can be a vector for the fatal Chagas disease.
When I found this Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae on our house, I was hoping it was a Black Corsair, a benign species found in CA, that is often confused with blood sucking Kissing Bugs. However after comparing the two on bugguide, I am leaning toward this being a Western Conenose, Triatoma protracta. This is a blood sucking species and can cause Chagas disease. I live in the hills where a lot of rodents and other mammals can be found so it doesn’t surprise me but it does alarm me! Chagas Disease is caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that lives in the hind gut of the bug. The bug bites you in your sleep and poops in the wound, spreading the parasite to your bloodstream. Luckily, for the US, our species of Kissing Bugs rarely poop right after feeding, making contraction less likely. Still, kinda creepy.
I am unfortunately leaning toward the latter. Any input?
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- way-of-travel said: I agree. The head looks the same as the western conenose. Creepy!
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- exclaimedkeller said: how big is this thing!?
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- tobyaudax said: Yeah, I’m gonna go with Conenose, too. It’s a better match.
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