Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington


Genus Triatoma - Bloodsucking Conenoses

Conenose or Assassin? - Triatoma sanguisuga Bloodsucking conenose? - Triatoma sanguisuga Dark True Bug - Triatoma protracta Triatoma sp.? - Triatoma protracta Triatoma protracta ? - Triatoma protracta Conenose - Triatoma rubida Sexing a Bloodsucking Conenose Bug (ventral detail) - Triatoma rubida - male Triatoma sanguisuga
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)
Infraorder Cimicomorpha
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, Vinchuca
Explanation of Names
Triatoma Laporte 1832
'three-segmented'. "In his supplement to Essai d’un classification systematique de l’ordre des Hemipt&egrav;res, ... 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." (Readio 1927) This shows how the common name “conenose bugs” was derived.
11 spp. n. of Mex. (1)
13-33 mm
Medium-sized, pear-shaped, boldly patterned in dark brown to black with reddish markings; beak tapered, not curved(2)
Key to species provided in Lent & Wygodzinsky (1979)(3)
so. US (transcontinental) to Argentina.
T. sanguisuga and T. lecticularia in the East, T. rubrofasciata an isolated introduction in FL, others sw US.
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
Tetrapod blood, mostly 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.
Life Cycle
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 humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan, whose most notorious vector is the South American T. infestans. The North American species do not normally defecate at the site of the bite, and thus do not normally transmit the disease, though they can carry the parasite (Vetter 2001). Rare vector-borne cases of Chagas disease have been noted in the so. US (CDC 2013).
Print References
Galvão C., Carcavallo R., da Silva Rorcha D., Jurberg J. (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.
Works Cited
1.Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs of Canada and the Continental United States
Thomas J. Henry, Richard C. Froeschner. 1988. Brill Academic Publishers.
2.How to Know the True Bugs
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.
3.Revision of the Triatominae (Hemiptera, Reduviidae), and their significance as vectors of Chagas' disease
H. Lent & P. Wygodzinsky. 1979. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 163: 1-520.