Bugging You: The Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug
Flikr Photo Credit to
Robert Whyte www.arachne.org.au

Anything that wants to drink my blood is suspect.  That would include mosquitoes (which carry dengue, West Nile virus, malaria, et. al.), ticks (the Azuero features black ones, brown ones, green ones and red ones), and – why not – chiggers, which technically don’t drink your blood, but DO dissolve your flesh and suck it up. Doesn’t that sound delicious.


But all of these are outclassed by the local Assassin Bug.  Not only does it creep up on you, stick you with its pointy snout and fill you with its venom, it also shoots something that turns you into liquid lunch.

Yes, it bites people.

There are 6600 identified varieties of it and it lives EVERYWHERE.  Especially where it’s warm.  As in Panama.  In fact, Panama has the honor of having a new variety recently discovered here. One fond common name is The Kissing Bug (because it likes to bite people around the mouth) and it is also known as the … are you ready? …the BEDBUG.

If you like “scary movies” click to watch the Science Channel’s “Monster Bug Wars.”  You will love it.  Put up with a short commercial and watch the plot thicken.  First,  Informative Scientist Dude gives you the lowdown on how the assassin bug stalks, pierces and envenoms a victim.  Then Creepy Voice Guy does the play-by-play as the A. bug demonstrates on a grasshopper.  Hang in there, because the next segment brings Justice, complete with spiffy sound effects when the A. Bug takes on an Ogre Faced Spider.  A delicious shudder for the day.

Here’s another.  This is a video of an infant assassin bug snacking on a snoozing bat.   What is it they say?  “Sleep tight.  Don’t let the … bedbugs … bite.”