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What is this?
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
April 15, 2011 6:55 am
My friend’s son got bit by this weird looking thing. It caused the boys hand to swell up and has left a brown spot like what a bee sting would leave.
We’re curious as to what this is. If you could help us out that would be great.
Thank you
Signature: .

Assassin Bug

Dear .,
This is some species of Assassin Bug.  There is an excellent website dedicated to the Insects of Brisbane, but your relatively drab looking Assassin Bug does not appear to be represented among the colorful Australian species that are pictured there.  The Assassin Bug Biology page contains some very general information.  Very few Assassin Bugs prey upon warm blooded creatures, and most limit their diets to other insects, however they are quite capable of inflicting a painful bite with their stabbing and sucking mouthparts if carelessly handled or if haplessly encountered.  We do get a fair share of reports of people being bitten by Assassin Bugs, but the effects of the bite do not last very long, nor are they life threatening, however, they are often reported to be quite painful.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Australia

15 Responses to Assassin Bug bites boy in Australia

  1. drswanny says:

    Oooh! Australian stenopodaine! Pretty sure this is a species of Oncocephalus but can’t see the necessary details. That genus is found all over the world and the taxonomy is a mess.

    • Tony says:

      This is known as the kissing bug, it causes chagas disease, prevalent in south America this bug gave me chagas and another gave me Lyme disease both are said not to exists outside south America but that is because not to manny get bitin half of the bugs carry chagas, and fuck Australia Dockers and government for hiding the fact it’s prevalent here.

  2. sue says:

    Twelve days ago I was bitten by a strange bug, after much research I have decided that it was probably some type of Assassin Bug, it had a wider body and more colourful (orange -red legs)than the picture above. I was sitting still when it landed on my arm and bit me . It was extremely painful for about 1 and a half hrs, after the pain started to subside my arm was left swollen and muscles around this area went stiff. It is now 12 days later and my arm is still swollen with a large red area of skin, and it is very itchy at times.I have now talked to two other people who have had a very painful bite from a similar looking bug!! Both say the bug just landed on them and bit for no reason, We all live on the Mid North Coast NSW.

    • bugman says:

      Without an image, it is impossible to be certain. For the most part, though painful, the bite of an Assassin Bug is not considered a health problem, with the exception of the New World Cone-Nose Bugs in the subfamily Triatominae. Members of the genus Triatoma are blood-suckers that often bite human, and they are known vectors for Chagas Disease. We located a paper entitled CONFIRMATION OF THE PRESENCE OF TRIATOMINAE (HEMIPTERA:REDUVIIDAE) IN AUSTRALIA, WITH NOTES ON INDO-PACIFIC SPECIES that indicates there are several members of the genus, including Triatoma novaeguineae that are found in Australia. We cannot locate a color image of the species, but there is a line drawing reproduced with the paper.

    • Tony says:

      Bug known as kissing bug, it’s carrys chagas then kills you 20 years later of a heart attake, Dockers won’t treat and most have not heard of it and u need special permission for the drugs say good by if you got it I’m angry because I’ve got it pluses 30 other ones that are Nasty like lymes and 12 warm parasites with no help, I’ve ordered a rife Machíne if it works will be the only treatment for these things.

    • Tony says:

      These bugs are deadly bit in again got a Chagoma the junkies are responsible in there spread, also the more deadly ones are its relatives the bedbug, they carry everything including staph Lyme and chagars there faster breeders and love junkies homes. And junkies homes is how there become so big in number poverty and bad hygene is what makes them spred chagas disease is previlent in Australia and un recognised there for no one gets treated very big cover up of this disease, Australia is the worst country to get a disease dew to there cover ups but is the most dangerous in Lyme and chagas.

  3. Al says:

    I live in Newcastle and was also bitten while gardening in January. It certainly was a very painful bite – I thought it was a spider at first, then a wasp, because there was only one puncture wound on the joint of my forefinger. For the rest of the day it was bearable, but the next day my whole hand became swollen and taut, and the skin started to peel away but not at the wound site. While the swelling dissipated after a couple of days the itching and aching in my arm probably lasted about another week.
    Gardening again yesterday, I saw this horrid looking creature which was likely the pest that bit me, and managed this time to get a photo and research – yes probably an assassin bug…

  4. Lola Henry says:

    I live on the NSW South Coast.
    Some years ago, I was bitten twice on my stomach by an insect which was caught in my clothes. It was like being stabbed and was incredibly painful for a short time only.
    The next day I had two blisters where the bites were.

    The blisters broke and my flesh was a weepy mess.
    I went to the Dr (with the bug in a bottle) and he gave me anti biotics and had his nurse dress the wound.

    He did not know what the bug was so we sent it to the Sydney museum who identified it as an Assassin Bug.

    The wounds took MONTHS to heal because it was a “flesh eating” bite and it took a long time to find the correct anti biotic to treat it.

    The blisters also recurred two years later, and we went through the the same thing again.

    This insect CAN CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE, so beware!!

  5. TeAra says:

    Hi I just got bitten today by what I’ve researched I’m presuming assassin bug..I did take a pic and I’m wondering if I could email to you to maybe confirm

  6. Siobhan says:

    I have been bitten by an assassin bug (trying to rescue it from being tormented by my cat!)
    It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced!!! The Doctor in ED initially thought I had been bitten by a redback. The pain in my finger so intense they wanted to give me a nerve block to my hand. The pain decreased over the first 12 hours, the swelling lasted days and as someone else mention there was a very distinct puncture mark in the centre.

  7. Dennis says:

    Like someone above, I too was bitten in Newcastle. I was walking in the city when it flew out of a shrub growing beside the pavement, landed on my neck and immediately bit me. Ouch! I swatted it to the ground where I was able to have a good look and positively identified it as an Assassin Bug, though this one was considerably larger and more colourful than the black ones I’ve seen in Southern California.

  8. Terence says:

    Yes, Just bitten by an Assassin Bug Nymph on the neck which left a small red blister which now 1 day after is itching like crazy. Didn’t know what it was at first, but Bug man Bill let me know what insect it was.

    Still not sure if there is going to be any long term effect from it’s sting as Lola from NSW has had a problem with her experience. The Bug that bite me is I believe is a Bee Killer Assassin Bug, so don’t know if that is going to create the same problems as her flesh eating Bug?

    • bugman says:

      To the best of our knowledge, bites from Assassin Bugs (not including the blood-sucking Kissing Bugs) do not have a permanent effect on a person, though local irritation may take some time to dissipate.

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