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Photo#242013
Unknown to me - Rasahus

Unknown to me - Rasahus
Salado, Tx, Bell County, Texas, USA
November 25, 2008
This stung my baby and I'm hoping you can tell me what it is.

I think it is something close to Rasahus
It looks very much like an assassin bug (family Reduviidae) in the genus Rasahus. Compare to this image, and others in the genus:


According to a quick internet search, these bugs do NOT carry Chagas' disease, though other in the same family do. They are also not reported to be aggressive in seeking out people, but if they are out hunting for other insects and are trapped or picked up, they are certainly capable of a painful bit. It is quite possible that this bug was exploring for food and wandered near your baby who either picked it up or unknowingly trapped it against her skin (by rolling over on it, stepping on it, etc.).

If there was a prolonged reaction to the bite (prolonged swelling, fever, any indication of an allergic response) I'd get the advice of a doctor, but aside from that, I don't imagine that your baby is in any danger from the bite. It is likely that this was a random encounter and unlikely to reoccur. Doctors, please correct me if you know any different.

 
Bug bites
The only severe reactions to the bites of true bugs are extraordinarily rare. Chagas disease is almost never transmitted in the US because the species of bugs capable of becoming infected do not defecate while they feed. The parasite exits the bug in its feces, and must get scratched into the bite wound or a mucous membrane (e.g. into the eye) in order to infect a person. Anaphylactic (allergic) reactions to true bugs are very, very rare, and probably require a previous bite by the same or similar species in order to sensitize the immune system. The only cases that I am aware of are a handful of campers reacting to Triatoma protracta in the western US. For my own curiosity as a pediatrician, I’d love to see a picture of the wound if it hasn’t already healed up and gone away.

Baby bites baby....
This is a baby (nymph) assassin bug, probably in the genus Rasahus, but I can't be positive. They bite, not sting, using beak-like mouthparts. They only "assassinate" other insects, not people, thankfully. Still, do pay attention to the symptoms in your child. Should they become severe, far out of proportion to what they should be (pain, mild swelling and redness), see your physician or the ER. Should not be an issue unless your child has an allergic reaction to insect venoms. Get well soon!

 
Hah! Well done.
Good to see another quick(er) response, and I'm reassured that my diagnosis ended up being so similar.

 
Wow!!
Thank you so much for getting back to me and so fast!
Does this mean that it is a beetle? I was thinking ant and my husband said baby wasp?

Just curious!

Thanks again, Karen

 
True bug.
Not an ant, wasp or beetle. It's in the same insect group as stink bugs and water striders. Browse through the Hemiptera section of this site and I'm sure you'll see lots of familiar bugs.

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