Familia Reduviidae Latreille, 1807

Family REDUVIIDAE Latreille, 1807 - assassin‑bugs

Putshkov and † V.G. Putshkov

The family includes at least 23 subfamilies, about 930 genera and 6,800 species. The distribution is about cosmopolitan though most taxa inhabit the tropics and subtropics. Habitats are diverse. Palaearctic species are mainly xero‑ or mesophiles and thermophiles. As a rule reduviids are predators of arthropods. Hunting adaptations differ between taxa and are related to the kind of prey. Besides polyphagous assassin bugs there are specialized feeders on diplopods (many Ectrichodiinae), spiders (some Emesinae), termites (Salyavatinae), ants (some Holoptilinae), and other groups. Blood‑sucking Triatominae attack different Tetrapoda, and some Triatoma species are important as vectors of Chagas disease in South America. An extraordinary case of coprophagy is found in the Indian harpactorine Lophocephala guerini Laporte. However, the trophic habits of most species are still unknown. The same is true for other aspects of their ecology. Palaearctic species hibernate either as egg, larva or adult. There are representatives with one, two or more generations per year and in some species the development takes more than one year.

Catalogues: Stichel, 1959-1960 (Palaearctic), V.G. Putshkov & P.V. Putshkov, 1985-1989 (World), Putshkov & Putshkov, 1996 (Palaearctic) and Maldonado Capriles, 1990 (World). Monographs: Dispons & Stichel, 1959 (Europe), Hsiao & Ren, 1981b (China), and Wygodzinsky, 1966 (Emesinae).