Assassin bug, SEM

Assassin bug, SEM

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Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Assassin bug. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an assassin or kissing bug (Rhodnius prolixus). This bug lives in South and Central America. It feeds on human blood and is the vector of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease. The protozoa are transmitted in the faeces of the bug and enter wounds made by the feeding bug when the human scratches the skin. The assassin bug feeds by piercing the skin with its proboscis (green), which it can move into a vertical position. It has large compound eyes (red) on the sides of its long head.

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Keywords: animal, assassin bug, blood-feeder, blood-feeding, chagas disease, coloured, disease vector, entomology, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, kissing, nature, parasite, parasitic, parasitology, rhodnius prolixus, scanning electron micrograph, sem, trypanosoma cruzi, trypanosomes, wildlife, zoology

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