Original Research

Records of assassin bug species (reduviidae, heteroptera) reported biting man

E.K. Hartwig
Koedoe | Vol 20, No 1 | a935 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v20i1.935 | © 1977 E.K. Hartwig | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 1977 | Published: 27 August 1977

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E.K. Hartwig,

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In southern Africa Acanthaspis obscura Stal, Pirates conspurcatus Distant, Rhinocoris segmentarius (Germar) and Panto-feistes pnnceps Stal intlict painful bites on humans. Serious consequences can develop. This is unknown to the public in general. Adult A. obscura and P. conspurcatus are responsible for the greatest number of bites because they are positively phototropic. R, segmentarius is not attracted to light but is the most common local species. Bites happen accidentally and could largely be avoided if the bugs could be recognized. The first three species have a wide distribution. Various insects are preyed on. The R. segmentarius female can lay 358 fertile eggs in six batches over a period of 77 days without copulating once in this period. Adults are most active in mid-summer although found throughout the year. These three species are abundant in some years and scarce in others. Preventive measures include screening homes and decoy lights. Control involves spraying with carbaryl.


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