- Terrestrial Biomes
- Range length
- 5 to 35 mm
- 0.20 to 1.38 in
- Development - Life Cycle
Adult females of this species copulate several times and can retain sperm for long periods of time. They may lay 100-600 eggs during their three to twelve month lifespan. Adult male reproductive capacity is temperature sensative, and at low temperatures male accessory gland secretion is reduced, and eggs tend to remain unfertilized.
Mating involves a complex, courtship behavior. Males may be vigilant or indifferent to the female while females may advance males or be non-receptive. A courting session may last ten minutes, but in one study only one out of ten mate encounters were completed. Overall nine steps have been observed in (Askew, 1971; Flores and Lazzari, 1996; Lazzari and Nunez, 1989; Roberts and Janovy, Jr., 2000; Schofield, 1994)mating behavior. Males and females separate after copulation.
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Eggs are laid in small clumps in arboreal environments or they lay loosely in more subterranean environments. Egg-laying follows a circadian periodicity which commences ten to twenty days after copulation. They hatch after ten to forty days depending on temperature. Warmer temperatures promote faster hatching. Although bloodmeals are important for egg production, the female adults can lay eggs without feeding, as long as the nymphs have consumed sufficient bloodmeals. Adults are free living and sexually reproducing.
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- Range eggs per season
- 100 to 600
- Typical lifespan
- 3 to 12 months
- Typical lifespan
Peak adult emergence is in the summer between December and January. When defending itself against predators, kissing bugs may rub the rigid tip of the rostrum against a series of ridges on the ventral surface of the thorax resulting in a squeaking sound. (Askew, 1971; Flores and Lazzari, 1996; Lazzari and Nunez, 1989; Roberts and Janovy, Jr., 2000; Schofield, 1994)
Communication and Perception
There are a number of temperature receptors on the antennae that detect thermal heat radiating from a host. Thermal cues may also indicate places for laying eggs. When feeling threatened, kissing bugs may rub the rigid tip of the rostrum against a series of ridges on the ventral surface of the thorax resulting in a squeaking sound. This is called stridulation. (Askew, 1971; Flores and Lazzari, 1996; Lazzari and Nunez, 1989; Roberts and Janovy, Jr., 2000; Schofield, 1994)
- Animal Foods
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There is no known positive economic importance of.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Trypanosoma cruzi , a parasitic trypanosome protozoan. Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease, a deadly disease that may result in irreversible damage to the nervous system, muscle tissue, and the heart, eventually causing death. Chagas disease is a zoonosis, a disease of animals that is transmitted to humans or other animals. Trypanosoma cruzi is transmitted to humans via the feces of the kissing bug. The insect acquires the protozoan from an infected mammal and retains it for life. After the bug defecates during or after feeding, the trypanosome may penetrate the wound left by the feeding insect. Multiplication of the protozoan parasite in local tissue cells follow quickly it has gained entrance to a host body. The protozoan undergo multiplies by binary fission. During its developmental stages, T. cruzi changes in size and shape. In mammalian cells, the parasite is initially a small, unflagellated amastigote, which multiplies by binary fission into a flagellated trypomastigote. These are released throughout the blood stream when the cell ruptures. If removed from the mammal by a feeding kissing bug, the tryopmastigote changes into a epimastigote, eventually forming highly infective and active metacyclic trypomastigotes. Other endosymbionts within the gut of T. infestans function as a trypanosoma maturing factor that is essential for the differentiation of T. cruzi. Trypanosoma cruzi can survive within a dead host for long periods of time. is usually not hurt by the protozoan parasite, however, T. cruzi may have a suppressive effect on the insect's haemocoelic immune system. In 1993, sixteen to eighteen million people were infected by Chagas disease and ninety million were at risk -about 4% of the entire population of Latin America. It is the third most important cause of disability from a parasitic disease after malaria and schistosomiasis. In Latin America (as of 1993), it is the fourth most frequent cause of death. Medication can be quite expensive, and many individuals who have Chagas disease lose their jobs and can not find new jobs. infestations are often a cause for social embarrassment and considered a symptom of poverty. (Ciojalas and Catala, 1993; Hypsa, 1993; Roberts and Janovy, Jr., 2000; Schofield, 1994)is and active vector of
- Negative Impacts
- bites or stings
- carries human disease
do not require any special conservation status for .
Dr. C. J. Schofield created the "Southern Cone Initiative" for the elimination offrom domestic environments. Part of this elimiation program includes improvement in floors and house foundations, walls, roofs, and the removal of domestic animals from homes. One other aspect of this program is greater civilian awareness of infestation problems and prevention. Medicine such as amodiorone, a drug used to prevent cardiac arythmias, may also help prevent death from Chagas disease. Insecticides, such as synthetic pyrethroids, have been successful eradicators of T. infestans.
The bite of some other members of the family Reduviidae are excruciatingly painful. One Asian species was used by the Emir of Bokhara to torture prisoners. The bugs were kept in a pit into which prisoners and raw meat were thrown. The pain from the bite was mainly due to a toxin in the saliva.
Trypanosoma cruzi can be transferred by blood transfusion or via organ transplant. This protozoan parasite may cross the placenta from an infected mother to her fetus. (Askew, 1971; Schofield, 1994; Askew, 1971; Schofield, 1994; Askew, 1971; Schofield, 1994)
Sara Diamond (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Christopher Bonadio (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Teresa Friedrich (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
(as keyword in perception channel section) This animal has a special ability to detect heat from other organisms in its environment.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
an organism that obtains nutrients from other organisms in a harmful way that doesn't cause immediate death
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
an animal that mainly eats blood
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
mature spermatozoa are stored by females following copulation. Male sperm storage also occurs, as sperm are retained in the male epididymes (in mammals) for a period that can, in some cases, extend over several weeks or more, but here we use the term to refer only to sperm storage by females.
living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.
uses sight to communicate
Askew, R. 1971. Parasitic insects. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Co., Inc..
Ciojalas, L., S. Catala. 1993. Changes in Triatoma infestans reproduction efficiency caused by suboptimal temperature. J. of Insect Physiology, 39: 297-302.
Flores, G., C. Lazzari. 1996. The role of antennae in Triatoma infestans: orientation towards thermal sources. J. of Insect Physiology, 42: 433-440.
Hypsa, V. 1993. Endocytobionts of Triatoma infestan: Distribution and Transmission. J. Invertebr. Pathol., 61: 32-38.
Lazzari, C., J. Nunez. 1989. The response to radiant heat and the estimation of the temperature of distant sources in Triatoma infestans. J. of Insect Physiology, 35: 525-529.
Roberts, L., J. Janovy, Jr.. 2000. Foundations of Parasitology (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Schofield, C. 1994. Triatominae: Biology and Control. West Sussex: Eurocommunica Publications.