Assassin bug questions

vounti

Arachnosquire
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Apr 29, 2020
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Hi everyone !

A breeder from my region has several Reduviidae for sale and I'm interested in these animals. I'd love to see them hunting, reproducing and living. I've never kept Reduviidae but I have several roaches and tarantula species so I'm used to dealing with arthropods
The species that breeder has are:

- Platymeris cf. guttatipennis "Kenia"
- Platymeris biguttata
- Platymeris laevicollis



I have some questions though.

1. Is the care for all of these species the same ? If it isn't, which one is the easiest to care for ?
2. I read on old websites/forums that some species can reproduce parthenogenetically, is that true or is it still not well known ?
3. Feeding once a week is the way to go, right ?
4. If I don't want too much breeding, is it possible to let these animals reproduce in a single container and not moving the eggs in separate enclosures ?
5. Could I get pictures of your setup ?

Thank you guys
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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All care is the same. They do need a mate to reproduce so buy 3 to 5 if you want to start breeding. If you are, you don’t have to move the eggs. I would just make sure they are right humidity and warm. I would feed every 3 days food 2/3 their size starting on pinheads moving up in size.
 

vounti

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Thank you very much!

I also forgot a question. Is the room temperature ok for them ?
I somewhere read that they needed extra heat but also read somewhere else that it was fine at room temperature. My room temperature goes from 68F (20C) to 82F (28C) depending on the season and the time of the day. Would that be suitable for these animals ?
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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Higher grows quickly so they get to full size in 3 months, I have had mine for 3 months and they are only 2/3 grown. Also don’t know if you are aware of them being venomous with a horrible bite. Just be careful. All the species he has can’t fly.
 

vounti

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Yep I know that they can bite. To me they are just like tarantulas: watch and no touch

Fun fact: these animals, in South America, carry a serious parasite. That's Trypanosoma cruzi (very close to Trypanosome brucei, giving trypanosomiasis through Tsetse fly in Africa) and they give it to humans by biting them for blood and then pooping the parasite larva in the wound.
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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I heard they also spit venom but mine is crazy but I never had this happen.
 

vounti

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Dang I'd love to watch that happen. I can't wait to get some, they're just fascinating
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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I have the white spot. Another cool one are mombos but they might be more aggressive but they look cool.
 

vounti

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I realized that my local breeder might have Psytalla horrida. I need these !
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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Honestly. They are all the same. The only difference is looks. I went with what was cheep and they always hide. Hopefully you have better luck with them not hiding.
 

vounti

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I think the Psytalla horrida looks awesome and they're so large. As the hiding part I'm used to fossorial pet holes lol that's not a problem for me
I'll definetely get some in the very near future. Thank you for these information man
 

RoachCoach

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Yep I know that they can bite. To me they are just like tarantulas: watch and no touch

Fun fact: these animals, in South America, carry a serious parasite. That's Trypanosoma cruzi (very close to Trypanosome brucei, giving trypanosomiasis through Tsetse fly in Africa) and they give it to humans by biting them for blood and then pooping the parasite larva in the wound.
That isn't an issue in the captive bred ones AFAIK. They are very easy to care for. I have a few P. Horrida. Humidity can be zero to like 40% and they will be okay. As long as you offer the smaller ones fairly slow prey. I have said it before and I will say it again. It is absolutely hilarious and fascinating to watch they literally cowboy jump onto larger prey and rodeo them like an angry bull. Their eyesight is good but not great. I've been stung in the neck by a wheelbug which is less painful than the Horrida. They are more skittish than aggressive. But if you do get stung, then you deserved it and may god have mercy on you. Don't diddle the dangerous things that you aren't sure about. Otherwise they are one of the best true bugs to watch hunting.
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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Mine almost bit me when rehousing it. I tried to pick up the egg flat and it climbed to the top and stayed in the same spot for three days. I ended up putting all mine together in a cohab setup. I can tell the difference between mine because he always climbs to the top when I go by the tank.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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Yep I know that they can bite. To me they are just like tarantulas: watch and no touch

Fun fact: these animals, in South America, carry a serious parasite. That's Trypanosoma cruzi (very close to Trypanosome brucei, giving trypanosomiasis through Tsetse fly in Africa) and they give it to humans by biting them for blood and then pooping the parasite larva in the wound.
THANK YOU @vounti!!! There are so many people who keep Reduviidae species without knowing that South American species are the primary carrier of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for roughly 8 million cases of Chagas Disease worldwide. Terrifying by the way. Not a fan of diseases that pop up 20 years after infection with occasionally life threatening symptoms.
Even though most hobby species don't carry the parasite, it is still important to know as an assassin bug keeper (and key to understanding why they are regulated and require containment facilities within the US). Thank you! I wish you all the best of luck in your Reduviidae pursuits!
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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Wheel bugs are known for giving heart disease and causing kidney failure. Definitely not going to play with these guys
 

chanda

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THANK YOU @vounti!!! There are so many people who keep Reduviidae species without knowing that South American species are the primary carrier of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for roughly 8 million cases of Chagas Disease worldwide. Terrifying by the way. Not a fan of diseases that pop up 20 years after infection with occasionally life threatening symptoms.
Even though most hobby species don't carry the parasite, it is still important to know as an assassin bug keeper (and key to understanding why they are regulated and require containment facilities within the US). Thank you! I wish you all the best of luck in your Reduviidae pursuits!
Only the Triatominae (kissing bugs) are vectors for T. cruzi/Chagas disease.This is just one small subfamily of Reduviidae. (They are also blood-feeders, rather than insect eaters - which is why they are an effective disease vector.) The vast majority of Reduviidae - including the South American species, other than the Triatominae - do not feed on blood - and do not spread diseases.

Also, because the Triatominae are obligate blood feeders, they are not typically kept as pets. The vast majority of assassin bugs that are kept as pets are any of the thousands of predatory species. Bites will be painful - but not medically significant.
 

goliathusdavid

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Only the Triatominae (kissing bugs) are vectors for T. cruzi/Chagas disease.This is just one small subfamily of Reduviidae. (They are also blood-feeders, rather than insect eaters - which is why they are an effective disease vector.) The vast majority of Reduviidae - including the South American species, other than the Triatominae - do not feed on blood - and do not spread diseases.

Also, because the Triatominae are obligate blood feeders, they are not typically kept as pets. The vast majority of assassin bugs that are kept as pets are any of the thousands of predatory species. Bites will be painful - but not medically significant.
Thank you for clarifying, I should have been more clear. Yes, it is only one small family of Reduviidae but nevertheless quite fascinating to me. I should also specify that containment facilities in the US are required predominantly due to feared effects exotic assassins could have on pollinators. Again, my apologies for not being more specific.
 

chanda

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Wheel bugs are known for giving heart disease and causing kidney failure. Definitely not going to play with these guys
This is not true. Wheel bugs do not cause heart disease or kidney failure. Wheel bugs - like the vast majority of assassin bugs, particularly those that are commonly kept as pets - are predators that feed on other bugs. They do not feed on blood and do not spread diseases. They will bite in self defense if they feel threatened - but while the bite is painful, it is not medically significant.

The ones you're thinking of are the "kissing bugs" (Triatominae) - which are just one small subfamily of assassin bugs. The Triatominae do feed on blood, and are also a host for T. cruzi (the organism that actually causes Chagas disease). T. cruzi is transmitted in the feces of the kissing bugs, not the saliva, so it is not the bite that causes infection - but if the bug defecates while feeding, the infected feces can get into the feeding wound (or other cuts or scratches), allowing the person to become infected. There are over 100 different species of Triatominae, but only a handful of species account for the vast majority of cases of Chagas disease. That's because these species 1) live in areas where Chagas disease is prevalent, making it more likely that they will carry T. cruzi, and 2) these species are more likely to defecate while feeding or immediately after feeding. Other species, with more polite bathroom habits, are less likely to transmit the disease.
 

RoachCoach

Arachnolord
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This is not true. Wheel bugs do not cause heart disease or kidney failure. Wheel bugs - like the vast majority of assassin bugs, particularly those that are commonly kept as pets - are predators that feed on other bugs. They do not feed on blood and do not spread diseases. They will bite in self defense if they feel threatened - but while the bite is painful, it is not medically significant.

The ones you're thinking of are the "kissing bugs" (Triatominae) - which are just one small subfamily of assassin bugs. The Triatominae do feed on blood, and are also a host for T. cruzi (the organism that actually causes Chagas disease). T. cruzi is transmitted in the feces of the kissing bugs, not the saliva, so it is not the bite that causes infection - but if the bug defecates while feeding, the infected feces can get into the feeding wound (or other cuts or scratches), allowing the person to become infected. There are over 100 different species of Triatominae, but only a handful of species account for the vast majority of cases of Chagas disease. That's because these species 1) live in areas where Chagas disease is prevalent, making it more likely that they will carry T. cruzi, and 2) these species are more likely to defecate while feeding or immediately after feeding. Other species, with more polite bathroom habits, are less likely to transmit the disease.
Dead on agree with 99%. I don't know what psycho considers Wheel Bugs medically insignificant. I have been stung in the neck, I didn't go to the hospital because I'm no frail boi. I literally walked off a 40% collapsed R lung. Which was less painful. If you think you are gangster, then just diddle with these dudes. I don't dare you. Because they won't allow me.
Edit: I'm not even trying to brag. They have the bite of lightning.
 
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