assassin bug

assassin bug

Any of about 4,000 insect species (family Reduviidae) characterized by a thin, necklike structure connecting the narrow head to the body. Many species are common to North and South America. Ranging in size from 0.5 to 1 in. (13–25 mm), assassin bugs use their short, three-segmented beak to suck body fluids from their victims. Most assassin bugs prey on other insects; some, however, suck blood from vertebrates, including humans, and transmit diseases. One species, the large assassin bug, defends itself by accurately “spitting” saliva toxic enough to blind a human.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on assassin bug, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up assassin bug? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More