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The featured bug of this spotting is, as tmvdh identified it, an Assassin bug. I erroneously named it a Kissing Bug, assuming Assassins and Kissers were synonyms of the same bug. For the record, Kissing Bugs and Assassin Bugs are both members of the same family (Reduviidae). The Reduviidae are members of the suborder Heteroptera of the order Hemiptera. The family members are almost all predatory, except for a minority that are blood-sucking species (Kissing Bugs) of importance as vectors for Chagas disease. This Assassin Bug’s head, thorax and wingtips are black as are its legs except for the second segment of each leg, which is orange/red. The front portion of its wings are white. The abdomen is flared and has orange/red stripes around the edge. This individual was nearly 2 cm long. There are 12 species in the genus Microtomus, but little can be found on the individual species. The published scientific note by PN member Torsten van der Heyden supplies key information on this particular species here: https://buff.ly/2W6k2uA
All 12 species of Microtumus are found in the Western Hemisphere. M. cinctipes has been identified in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America and Venezuela. This particular insect was found in our house in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador. The first two pictures are taken in our house, the third outside. It is the same bug. While they don’t eat plants or leaves, they can often be found there as they stalk other insects.
Assassin bugs are so named because they prey on other insects. They have a strong “beak” with which they repeatedly stab their prey while holding them with their strong forelegs. Larger ones can inflict a painful “bite” to humans if carelessly handled.
Spotted on Nov 10, 2008
Submitted on Apr 6, 2019
and 3 other people favorited this spotting