Subject: What bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug: Central Texas
Time: 12:15 AM EDT
My friend claims this is the type of bug that can transmit Chagas disease. I don’t agree. Who is right?
How you want your letter signed: I’m right, right?
You are correct. Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs or Kissing Bugs are Assassin Bugs in the genus Triatoma, and they are known to spread Chagas Disease. Though many other Assassin Bugs are known to bite, most species are considered harmless to humans. Your friends don’t even have the family correct, and one must generalize the identification all the way to the insect suborder Heteroptera to even consider them correct. This is a Big Legged Bug in the genus Acanthocephala, a member of the family Coreidae in the suborder Heteroptera, a very very distant relative of the disease carrying Kissing Bugs.