Subject: Caught a Bug in Home
Location: South Jakarta, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia (island of Java)
January 8, 2016 8:41 am
Not sure what this bug is. Came home after dinner to find it sticking on a wall. Caught it and placed it inside a plastic container. Plan to release it soon, just curious what it is.
Pretty small, I estimate no more than 4 centimeters.
Thanks a bunch! Really curious!
Signature: Guy in Java
Dear Guy in Java,
This sure looks like a Kissing Bug in the genus Triatoma to us. Kissing Bugs are in the news in the U.S. lately because they are known to spread a virus that causes Chagas Disease, especially in Latin America. We didn’t know if there were reports of Kissing Bugs in Indonesia, so we did some research. Though we cannot read what it says, the Blognya Mbak Widha (BMW) site does have an image of a Kissing Bug. A scholarly article, The Rising Importance of Triatoma rubrofasciata indicates the species has spread to Viet Nam. Thanhnien News states: “Kissing bugs, so called because they tend to bite (and defecate) on the victims’ faces and lips, are moving from the jungle into residential areas in Vietnam in large numbers.” The Vectors of Chagas Disease indicates at least two species, Triatoma leopoldi and Triatoma pugasi, are found in Indonesia, though it is uncertain if Old World species carry the virus.
Correction: November 30, 2016
Thanks to a comment, we now realize and have verified on MedicineNet that Chagas is spread by a Protozoan, not a Virus.