Rhodnius prolixus

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Rhodnius prolixus
Rhodnius prolixus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Reduviidae
Subfamily: Triatominae
Genus: Rhodnius
Species: R. prolixus
Binomial name
Rhodnius prolixus
Stål, 1859

Rhodnius prolixus is the second most important triatomine vector of the Chagas parasite due to both its sylvatic and domestic populations in northern South America as well as to its exclusively domestic populations in Central America. It has a wide range of ecotopes, mainly savanna and foothills with an altitude of between 500 meters to 1,500 meters (0.31 miles to 0.93 miles) above sea level and temperatures of between 16°C to 28°C (61°F to 82°F). Sylvatic R. prolixus, as virtually all Rhodnius spp., is primarily associated with palm tree habitats and has a wide range of hosts including birds, rodents, marsupials, sloths, and reptiles.

The insect was used by Sir Vincent Wigglesworth for the detection of insect hormones. It has been implicated in the transmission of transposons between it and some of its vertebrate hosts, squirrel monkeys and opossums.[1]

Rhodnius prolixus is also known as the kissing bug because it feeds on people's faces.

As disease vector[edit]

Chagas disease is caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Infection with Chagas disease occurs after Rhodnius releases protozoans in its feces immediately following a blood meal. The parasite enters the victim through the bite wound after the human host scratches the bite. Infection may also occur via blood transfusion and ingestion of food contaminated with kissing bug feces.

Rhodnius prolixus - (shows range of nymph stages through to adult)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clément, Gilbert; Schaack, Sarah; Pace II, John K.; Brindley, Paul J.; Feschotte, Cédric (2010). "A role for host-parasite interactions in the horizontal transfer of DNA transposons across animal phyla". Nature 464 (7293): 1347–50. doi:10.1038/nature08939. PMC 3004126. PMID 20428170. 

Further reading[edit]

  • William C Marquardt et al (2004), Chapter 5: Kissing Bugs and Bedbugs the Heteroptera, Biology of Disease Vectors (2nd edition), Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-473276-6

External links[edit]