Assassin bug Facts

Assassin bug Facts
Assassin bug is a member of the order Hemiptera. Over 6600 species of assassin bugs have been described so far. These animals can be found in different parts of the world, on almost all continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, North, Central and South America. Greatest diversity of assassin bugs is seen in rainforests. They can be also seen in the gardens and even in apartments in urban areas. Assassin bugs are not listed as endangered species.
Interesting Assassin bug Facts:
Size of assassin bug depends on the species. They can range from 0,04 to 04 inches in size.
Color and the shape of the body are also species-dependent. Some specimens are entirely brown or black, while others can be bright with specific markings on their body.
Assassin bugs are named that way because of the proficient predatory life style. They are waiting for the prey in ambush, but once the prey is identified - chances of escape are minimal.
Assassin bugs usually eat different type of insects. Some species feed on the blood of birds, reptiles and mammals.
Mouths of assassin bugs are designed for piercing and sucking of juices from the victim's body. They have a beak composed of three segments and a single tube through which assassin bug transfers its poisonous saliva.
Cockroaches will die 3 to 4 seconds after the bite of assassin bug. Caterpillars can survive up to 10 seconds.
Toxin of assassin bugs can induce local or sometimes more complicated reaction in the human body. Certain group of assassin bugs, called "kissing bugs" feeds on the human blood from areas near the mouth of humans.
Assassin bugs perform external digestion. In other words, they inject digestive juices into the victim's body and wait for the internal organs to turn into liquid. Once digestion is completed, assassin bug will eat liquid meal by sucking it with a tube.
Front legs of assassin bugs are uniquely designed to provide strong grip of the prey. They are equipped with sticky pads that are located on thousands of tiny hairs.
Assassin bugs can be very clever hunters. Termite-eating assassin bugs will use dead termite to attract live ones. Assassin bugs from South Asia will cover their legs with tree resin to attract the bees.
Female assassin bugs are better hunters because their diet and process of laying eggs require more proteins.
Although they are proficient killers, assassin bugs have natural enemies. Main predators of assassin bugs are: birds, rodents, praying mantis, spiders and other assassin bugs.
Assassin bugs can transmit serious diseases, such as Chagas disease, to humans. Chagas disease may lead to heart failure.
Assassin bugs have incomplete metamorphosis. Female lays eggs that will hatch into wingless nymphs. They will grow and molt four times before reaching the size of adult insects.
Assassin bugs live between one and two years in captivity.

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