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Definition of ASSASSIN BUG
: any of a family (Reduviidae) of bugs that are usually predatory on insects though some (as a kissing bug) suck the blood of mammals —called also reduviid
Illustration of ASSASSIN BUG
First Known Use of ASSASSIN BUG
Medical Definition of ASSASSIN BUG
: any bug of the family Reduviidae—compare conenose
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.