Strange bug from Guyana
Location: Corentyne, Berbice, Guyana, South America
February 1, 2011 7:27 am
I have been living in Guyana for the past 6 years and recently came across this bug on our window screen. We live on the coast of Guyana in Berbice,South America. When I touched the bug, he grabbed me with his leg and I quickly pulled away as I notices a sharp spike protruding from the front of his head. Then I noticed a clear liquid coming from the end of the spike. Just wanted to know what is living around the house.
This is one impressive looking Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae. Assassin Bugs are predators that use their piercing mouthparts to suck fluids from their prey, and we have never seen an Assassin Bug with a more formidable looking beak. The raptorial front legs are quite distinctive as well and these physical characteristics should make a species identification relatively easy. We can predict that the bite of this particular Assassin Bug is most likely quite painful, and we just posted a letter regarding the bite of a different species of Assassin Bug. One group of Assassin Bugs, the Kissing Bugs or Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma (see BugGuide), prey upon warm blooded hosts. In the tropics, the bite of the Kissing Bug is known to spread Chagas Disease. Your Assassin Bug is not one of the Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs, we we would advise utmost caution in handling it nonetheless.