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About Triatomine Flies

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General Morphology

Triatomines range in length from 5 to 45 mm, with the majority of species falling between 20 to 28 mm. Most species are black or dark brown, often with contrasting patterns of yellow, orange or red. The head of an adult triatomine is constricted posteriorly, forming a distinct neck. The region in front of the eyes is cylindrical to conical, supporting the name ‘cone-nosed’ bugs. For further key characteristics see e.g. Krinsky (2002).

As in all Hemiptera, triatomines undergo hemimetabolous development (egg, five nymphal instars, adult). Both sexes of adults and all nymphal instars require blood for their survival and development. The entire life cycle from egg to adult may be as short as 3 to 4 months, but more commonly takes 1 to 2 years.

Further information

  • Krinsky WL: True bugs (Hemiptera). In: Mullen G, Durden L (eds.): Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 2002, Academic Press, London, pp 67-86

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