Subject: Hematophagous insect Brazil
Location: Rio de Janeiro
November 29, 2015 3:06 am
Dear bugman, a friend of mine in Brazil is quite desperate because of an insect that at night bite her causing massive allergic reactions. She would like to know what insect it is and how to repellent it.
It look like an unt with wings or a black wasp. The wings have a yellowish tone. I am attaching some pictures.
Thank you very much
Signature: Dr Mirko P.

Possibly Flying Ant

Possibly Flying Ant

Dear Dr. Mirko P.,
There is not enough detail in any of the attached images to make an identification beyond the insect order Hymenoptera, which includes both ants and wasps.  Many people are allergic to stings from Hymenopterans. We are certain of two things.  One is that no ants or wasps are hematophagous or blood-sucking insects.  The other is that the individual in your image appears to have met an untimely end, prompting us to tag this as Unnecessary Carnage, though we understand that someone who is bitten or stung by a creature would want it identified if there is a “massive allergic reaction” associated with the bite or sting, and that possession of the actual creature might be the only way to secure an identification.  It is also possible that the sting, because that is what we are suspecting happened, occurred after swatting an ant or wasp that landed on your friend.  Swatting may be a natural reaction, but that is also a really good reason to prompt a bite or sting from a spider or insect.  The best way to remove the unwanted critter is to blow it off.  We would suggest your local Natural History Museum as a good place to have the actual specimen identified.  There is some difficultly in your acting as the middle man in this identification request.  We are also curious if the individual Hymenopteran pictured is the actual culprit.  You stated your friend was bitten at night.  Many true hematophagous insects bite at night, including Bed Bugs and Kissing Bugs.  Kissing Bugs found in Brazil are known to spread Chagas Disease.

Dear Daniel,
This is what my friend told me.
She is positive that this insect is biting/stinging her.
She admitted that she’s not sure about the insect drinking her blood, but she was assuming so.
The reaction is almost immediate with little or no delay after the biting/stinging.
She is also positive that is not a Chagas Disease and I tend to trust her judgement.
I suggested her to visit a doctor to control the allergic reaction.
She told me that for weeks she had hundreds of these insects invading her house at sundown.
She fixed mosquito mesh on her house windows and doors but they were crawling in by the roof she suspects.
She assure me that the biting/stinging was not provoked by her killing but it was the other way around and that if there was any carnage she was the victim not the executioner.
She told me that a couple of days ago there has been a drastic reduction in temperature and it started to rain. This stopped the invasion.
Now, can it be that these insects were  swarming, perhaps to find a mate or a nesting site in a particular “good” season?

Thanks for the update Mirko,
All ants and many wasps are social creatures, and based on the new information, we surmise that this is either an ant alate, the reproductive winged males and females that swarm and start new colonies, or a worker wasp, the sterile females that tend to the queen.

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Location: rio de janeiro, Brazil

One Response to Unknown Brazilian Hymenopteran

  1. Victor says:

    It looks and sounds like bug called “mutuca” .. it’s one of the worst blood sucker ever. It’s from horse fly family.

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