Genus Triatoma - Bloodsucking Conenoses
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs)
Subfamily Triatominae (Kissing Bugs)
Genus Triatoma (Bloodsucking Conenoses)
Other Common Names
Kissing Bugs, Big Bed Bugs, Mexican Bed Bugs, Bellows Bugs
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Triatoma Laporte, 1832
Conorhinus Laporte, 1833
Meccus Stal, 1859
Eutriatoma Pinto, 1926
Neotriatoma Pinto, 1931
Mepraia Mazza, Tobar & Jorg, 1940
Nesotriatoma Usinger, 1944
Explanation of Names
Latinized to tri and tome from Greek, "three-sections". Readio (1927) notes “In his supplement to ‘Essai d’un Classification Systematique de L’ordre des Hemipteres,’ the work in which the description [Conorhinus] appears, Laporte speaks of his mistake in describing the genus as having only three segments to the antennae, and giving it the name “Triatoma” descriptive of this condition, and substitutes the name ‘Conorhinus’ for ‘Triatoma.’ This substitution, however, has not been accepted.” It does, however, show how the common name “conenose bugs” was derived.
Medium-sized, pear-shaped, boldly patterned in dark brown to black with reddish markings. Beak tapered, not curved, as in Reduvius(3)(4)
Key to species provided in (5)
Pantropical worldwide. In the New World, transcontinental in the southern US to Argentina. In the US, two east of the Mississippi River (sanguisuga and lecticularia), one an isolated introduction in Florida (rubrofasciata), others from California, the southwest, and Texas.
Generally nidicolous, occurring most often in rodent nests but also in bird nests, logs and man-made structures such as barns, coops, houses; some Neotropical spp. also in caves
All year, but more frequently noticed in spring and fall when dispersing and coming to lights
Hematophagous, feeding on blood from tetrapods. Most common hosts are mammalian but avian, reptilian and amphibian hosts are recorded. The most common wild hosts are wood rats (Neotoma) but other common ones include armadillos, opossums and raccoons (possibly also skunks); synanthropic species may feed on livestock (horses, cattle, chickens), pets and humans.
After a meal, female scatters many oval whitish eggs; nymphs pass through eight instars and take up to 2-3 years to complete the cycle
Bite can cause severe allergic reaction in many humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi
, a protozoan. The most notorious vector is T. infestans
, found in South America. The North American species are not normally thought to transmit the disease, though they can carry the parasite. (The North American species do not normally defecate at the site of the bite, which is what actually transmits the parasite--see Kissing bugs (Triatoma) and the skin
. The CDC site
says that rare vector-borne cases of Chagas disease have been noted in the so. US.
Galvão, C., R. Carcavallo, D. da Silva Rorcha and J. Jurberg. 2004. A checklist of the current valid species of the subfamily Triatominae Jeannel, 1919 (Hemiptera, Reduviidae) and their geographical distribution, with nomenclatural and taxonomic notes. Zootaxa 202: 1-36. Quick View
Readio, P.A. 1927. Studies on the biology of the Reduviidae of America north of Mexico. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 17: 5-291.
|1.||Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms|
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
|3.||How to Know the True Bugs|
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.
|4.||The Common Insects of North America|
Lester A. Swan, Charles S. Papp. 1972. Harper & Row.