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New Species Of Assassin Bug Discovered In AZ?

Assassin bugs are just as predatory as they sound, using poison to immobilize then devour their victims. All species of assassin bugs are part of the Reduviidae cluster, a group that also includes the equally-tough sounding Ambush Bugs and Thread-Legged Bugs.

Scientists announced last week that they believe an entirely new species of assassin bug has been discovered deep within the dark, musty caves of Arizona. Kartchner Caverns State Park is a large, heavily rural state park which features cave tours and many different research projects ongoing.

For now being called the “Labyrinth bug,” the new species is relatively similar to currently known assassin species. With a small head, long limbs, and an extended midsection for feeding, assassin bugs have a unique way of killing prey. Predatory assassins actually use a poison saliva to kill opponents – the saliva is injected into their bodies where it then liquefies their internal organs, creating an easy feast for the assassin. It may sound harsh but this method of feeding is one of the most efficient in the animal kingdom.

The name “assassin” bug comes as much from this species’ ability to sneak up on prey as it does its kill method. After sucking the liquefied organs out of its victim, a predatory assassin bug sometimes then wears the victim’s exoskeleton as a sort of camouflage while it searches for more food.

The Labyrinth bug in particular behaves much like its sinister peers, although not much is yet known about the newly undiscovered species. In fact, researchers actually studied the bug some 20+ years ago in the caves but neglected to note that it was previously undiscovered.

Unfortunately, assassin bugs live all over the world and in many states of the US. With over 700 species in the family there are a variety of conditions these insects find suitable for life so they’re difficult to pin down. The good news is, most people will never encounter an assassin bug and if they do, the bugs are highly unlikely to interact.

That is, except for the class of “Kissing Bugs” that feed on blood (even human!) and have been known to bite around the mouth and eyes.

If you have predatory bugs in or around your home or you just want to make sure your house is protected from pests, contact a pest control pro immediately. The sooner you start a pest control plan the better off you’ll be and the easier your insect problem will be  to control.

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