Posts Tagged ‘Cool Animal of the Day: The Assassin Bug’

The Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis Petax) preys on ants. This crazy mofo uses carcasses of its prey to disguise itself from spiders, which is just diabolical and mortifying at the same time. He lives in East Africa near Lake Victoria in countries including Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, and is about 1 centimeter in length. Anywho, Assassin Bug.

And by cool I mean terrifying. Assassin bugs, also called Kissing Bugs, get their names from their habit of biting humans on the face, right near the lips. On a related note, holy hell. Kissing bugs are found all across the bottom two-thirds of the United States. They are largely dark brown or black, and may have red dots on each side of their broad, flat backs. They measure between 1/2″ to 1″ long. These bugs not only bite, but their bites spread the parasite that causes Chagas Disease, a disorder that does damage to major organs and can be fatal. Good times huh?Assassin bugs like hanging out near their prey, which is mammals with vertebrae (that includes us, kids) from which they can suck blood. During late spring and summer, they leave their usual nests in the woods (near rodents) and go in search of mates. Along the way, kissing bugs are attracted to bright lights, sorta like the one on your porch at night. They work their way into homes and search out dark, cool places to stay during the day (like under your sink or, uh, bed), only leaving again at night for food. And oh yeah, they particularly like hiding between mattresses. Anyhoo, Assassin Bug. They’re awful. Have a great day!