Monday, 12 December 2016

Peirates strepitans Rambur 1839 - Assassin bug - Cyprus

Family: Reduviidae (Assassin bugs)

The Reduviidae are a large cosmopolitan family of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). They are slightly unusual overall, but very common among the Hemiptera because almost all are terrestrial ambush predators (most other predatory Hemiptera are aquatic). The main examples of nonpredatory Reduviidae are some blood-sucking ectoparasites in the subfamily Triatominae. Though spectacular exceptions are known, most members of the family are fairly easily recognizable; they have a relatively narrow neck, sturdy build, and formidable curved proboscis (sometimes called a rostrum). Large specimens should be handled with caution, if at all, because they sometimes defend themselves with a very painful stab from the proboscis.

The family
The Reduviidae are members of the suborder Heteroptera of the order Hemiptera. The family members are almost all predatory, except for a minority that are blood-sucking species of importance as disease vectors. About 7000 species have been described, making it one of the largest families in the Hemiptera.

The name Reduviidae is derived from the type genus, Reduvius. That name, in turn, comes from the Latin reduvia, meaning "hangnail" or "remnant". Possibly this name was inspired by the lateral flanges on the abdomen of many species. Info from

Photos at Meneou 20/11/2016, by Michael Hadjiconstantis

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