Morphology

The eggs of kissing bugs are oval (1.5 to 2.5 mm in length). Nymphs resemble the adult but are wingless (see Figure 1.16). They measure 2 to 3 mm and there

Figure 1.16 Rhodnius prolixus kissing bug (from nymphal to adult stage).

are five instars. Adult kissing bugs are large, brown or black in colour with often a red, yellow or orange ornamentation on the abdomen. They are elongated because of their long head and abdomen. They occur only in tropical zones, especially in America, there are also 11 species in Asia, Africa and Australia, as well as a pantropical species: Triatoma rubrofasciata. Adult kissing bugs have two pairs of wings folded up as scissors and long legs (insect runners) ending with two claws.

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