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Discussion of 2018 gathering

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

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

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red and black corsair

My daughter was bitten by what we have identified as a red and black corsair (thanks to wonderful pictures found on this site). She was simply walking through the house and saw a small black beetle on her hand and picked it up to inspect it closer. She then screamed at the top of her lungs and flung it across the kitchen. It left a nasty welt on her thumb, and we had to search quite a bit to find what had bitten her. I put it in a plastic baggie and got on the internet to find more information on the pesky little bug. Is it common for this bug to bite, and if so, does it always cause painful welts? I have never heard of anything like this before.

I was bitten by an assassin b
I was bitten by an assassin bug nymph on Friday. The area around it a little larger than a quarter is red and swollen and itches. This does not particularly concern me as I am alergic to all insect bites (mosquito bites take up to three weeks to heal, ant bites cause impetigo which take two to three weeks to heal and the last wasp sting I had caused swelling in an area the size of a naval orange that stayed a week). I did some research on Chagas and found it is mostly prevalant in Central and South America. Here is a site where you can get more information if you are concerned.

Assassin bug bites
The red and black corsair is a type of assassin bug (family Reduviidae). All species are predators of other insects (with the exception of blood-feeding species like Triatoma sp.). They have incredibly virulent paralytic enzymes they inject into their prey to immobilize victims almost instantaneously. They have a beak-like mouth with which they bite. They do not hesitate to bite in self-defense, either, with excrutiating results for innocent humans. The worst bite/sting I ever received was from an assassin bug. It raised a blood blister and the pain lasted for hours. Unless your child is allergic to the "venom," she should recover quickly. Meanwhile, assassin bugs help keep down populations of pest insects.

re: assassin bite
so eric, your saying this bug is basically harmless then? i was bitten and had a bit of swelling and a blood blister too but its only been a you know anything bout chagas disease? is the assassin bug bite anything to be concerned about longterm? does a person need antibiotics with any bug bite or is that only if there is a reaction?

Assassin bite
i got biten and want to know if im at risk for that chagas disease that i read these bug can carry? should i have to worry about any harmful affects from the bite down the line. i just had some swelling and left a blood blister.

sincerely Mel

If I remember correctly...
The only species of Triatoma that carries Chagas Disease is T. cruzi, a Latin American species. However, I'm no expert on insect-vectored diseases so don't take it as expert opinion. However, I do know that only the blood-feeders carry the disease, so if you were bitten something other than Triatoma you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

assassin bug
thanks for the info nick ,i found a pic of the bug that bit me on "whats that bug?" web site and it was was called an immature assassin bug ...but i guess there are other names like wheel bug or kissing bug , im new to the whole bug scene so im really nervous about being bitten. my arm is still sore but there are no markings around it or redness....if you get to that site maybe youll know by seeing it wether or not its the harmful one........hey thanks again , Mel

Thanks for the information! S
Thanks for the information! She recovered quickly, and is taking the specimen AND information from this site (including these e-mails) to her science teacher tommorrow to share with her class. None of her classmates believed she was bitten by a small black beetle!

Bug, not beetle:-)
You are certainly welcome, Janet. Thanks for sharing your experience. Really glad to hear your daughter is OK. Just to conclude, assassin bugs are not beetles. They are in a different order altogether: Hemiptera. Beetles have chewing mouthparts, not beaks, so that is one way to tell them apart.

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