Quick! Someone call Rikki-Tikki-Tavi! April’s bug of the month are the Mambo and White-spotted African assassin bugs! This insect is famous for its two spots and infamous for its powerful venom. A neurotoxic venom similar in potency to that of a cobra AND it can spit its venom like a cobra as well! A venom so powerful that it can cause temporary blindness in humans and knock down crickets from 12 inches away. I don’t think anyone will be holding these but we will do a public feeding. They are merciless voracious hunters and it will be a scene sure to be reminiscent of the Colosseum.
Assassin bugs are everywhere and are considered beneficial. They are pretty much like a spider with one fang or as it’s known in the insect world a “proboscis.” While many insects have a proboscis with two sides, one for injecting and one for sucking, Assassin bugs just have one chamber. This allows them to deliver a massive dose of their venom which liquifies their prey and then suck it up quickly.
It has been recently discovered that assassin bugs have two kinds of venom, one for prey and one for defense. They will bite to defend themselves and it is considered more painful than a bee sting.
Assassin bugs are of the order Hemiptera (true bugs) and have many famous members of their family, the family Reduviidae that is. One smooching member you may have heard of is the kissing bug. This nasty little member of the Reduviidae family will sneak up on you while you sleep and bite you on the lips. Their bite can deliver a protozoan parasite named trypanosoma cruzi. This causes a disease known as Chagas disease. A disease with a whole list of wonderful nasty symptoms one of which is sudden death, if left untreated.
Good times…. Good times!
Want to see the feeding frenzy? Then come to our next show, April 13th @ Discovery World!
Ladybird is back! … kind of.
Many of you have asked about Ladybird, the Burgandy Goliath Birdeater tarantula (theraphosa Stirmi). She was gone the last couple of shows because she was going through a molt. Well, she molted and now besides being even bigger than before – “she” turned out to be a “he!”
Yes, Ladybird is a dude. Not that there is anything wrong with that but we needed a new name. I was going to put it up for a vote on the book of faces BUT I had a name I wanted to use, Paul. In honor of one of my favorite Bugs Bunny episodes with Witch Hazel.
So, Paul, Paul is back!
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