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, 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. of Triatoma
in our area(1)
Medium-sized, pear-shaped, boldly patterned in dark brown to black with reddish markings; beak tapered, not curved(2)
so. US (transcontinental) to Argentina; in our area, T. sanguisuga
and T. lecticularia
in the East, T. rubrofasciata
an isolated introduction in FL, others sw US(1)
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 seen 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, humans, and lizards around homes
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 the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi
. The North American species can carry the parasite but they do not normally defecate at the site of bite, and thus rarely transmit the disease (Vetter 2001
). Rare vector-borne cases of Chagas occur in the so. US (CDC 2013
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.
Readio P.A. (1927) Studies on the biology of the Reduviidae of America north of Mexico. U. Kans. Sci. Bull. 17: 5-291.
Bern C, Kjos S, Yabsley MJ, and Montgomery, SP. 2011. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 24(4): 655-681.
|2.||How to Know the True Bugs|
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.