Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Busted Assassin

Cone Nose Beetle

It's wonderful ain't it? We live on a planet with millions of other critters, plants, animals, viruses, bacteria and just when you think you have finally got a handle on things, something else pops up to let you know...not yet.

From my desk, I got up to finally call it an evening and I spotted the cute little thang in the photo below by the front door...on the inside...with me...in the same room. I got a little closer to get a better look but I think my brain already knew what I was looking at. A bug I had heard about for the last five years but never before now, seen. And here it was. Practically saying hello, nice to meet ya. Weeeell, that wasn't exactly so, it's legs were already curled and the only thing moving was it's antennae. Poor thang.

It's a Cone Nose Beetle also known as an Assassin Bug. It has a reputation for being a nightstalker to it's victims. It finds a victim, asleep, injects an anesthetic into the victim and then begins to suck blood as it's midnight snack. Sounds like my kinda guy, I like a midnight snack except...I like Oreos and milk. Sometimes it's Ginger Snaps though. Other times I just like to eat. But sometimes I get the heartburn thing and...uhm, sorry, I got slightly off the path...back to the ranch.

The other evening I closed up shop at work and on the way home I bumped into some folks at the store and we had been discussing a certain bug that has been seen in groups congregating everywhere imaginable. We've seen so many inside and outside the house, outside the laundromat, I spotted a couple of them hanging out on a few people's clothing last week. Well, they look like Cone Nose Beetles but they are not. They are smaller. For this purpose I have decided to place both of their mugshots below for comparison.

Cone Nose Bug or Assassin Bug (Rhodnius prolixus)
Cone Nose Bug = Long Head, Back Sides resemble fins, Orange coloring along sides appears somewhat seperated or scalloped. These bugs are exceptionally larger than Box Elder Bugs. Cone Nose Bugs consume  victim's blood. They also transmit Chagas Disease. The disease is not pretty and you may look that up on the internet.

Box Elder Bug (Boisea trivittata)
Box Elder Bug = Short Head, No upraised fins on the back sides, Orange coloring is constant along the sides and resembles a solid unseperated line. These bugs are vegetarian and are harmless. Considerably smaller than a Cone Nose Bug.

Have a great day and keep in mind that the world is what you make it.


1 comment:

MsBelinda said...

I have heard not so good things about the Cone Nose Beetle...thankfully I have never seen one in person.

Had not heard of the Box Elder Bug though I can see they do bear a resemblance.