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Kissing Bugs

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Subfamily of Rhynchota. Hemiptera, Bugs.

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The Triatominae belong to the order Hemiptera, of which fossil specimens are about 250 million years old. Of the about 80,000 recent species of Hemiptera, the majority does not suck blood, but sucks on plants, or they are predators of insects and other invertebrates. Only species of the 2 families Cimicidae (bedbugs) and Polyctenidae are all bloodsuckers, and in the family Reduviidae only those 119 species belonging to the subfamily Triatominae (kissing bugs). The name of the latter group reflects a behavior of these bugs, often sucking blood in the face which is unprotected at night during sleep. The majority of triatomines lives sylvatically, some peridomestically around the house, and only some species mainly domestically; of these Triatoma infestans , Rhodnius prolixus, Panstrongylus megistus , and Triatoma dimidiataare the most important species. Triatomines are important vectors,...

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© 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York

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(2008). Kissing Bugs. In: Mehlhorn, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Parasitology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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