Subject: insect that looks like chagas bug
Location: 32.0481°N -112.758°W
February 13, 2017 12:12 am
I was hiking in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on 2-12-17 and discovered this bug on the top of a peak, elevation 3000 ft.
Because of press coverage, many folks send us images mistaking Leaf Footed Bugs for Blood-Sucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma, but you have the real thing. This is an immature Kissing Bug in the genus Triatoma, a group known to spread Chagas Disease, though most cases are from the tropics. Here is a BugGuide image for comparison. According to BugGuide: “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 and humans.” BugGuide also states: “Bite can cause severe allergic reaction in humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan, whose most notorious vector is the South American T. infestans. The North American species do not normally defecate at the site of the bite, and thus do not normally transmit the disease, though they can carry the parasite (Vetter 2001). Rare vector-borne cases of Chagas disease have been noted in the so. US. ”