Monday, February 11, 2008

The Assasin

As the world is jolted by the assasination attempt in East Timor, a Reduviid bug(Hemioptera) from Sarawak plots its own mini-assasination atop a Begonia leaf.

Commonly named Assasin bug, this insect has a voracious appetite for body fluids of other bugs which is obtained by punching its rostrum (probosis) through the thick cuticle of the target and releasing paralysing and tissue dissolving salivia and sucking them out through ths same channel. The Begonia xiphiodes provides a launch pad for its forays. B. xiphioides is found in many sandstone and open forests in Sarawak. Like many Begonias, the attractively coloured young leaves turned plain glossy green upon maturity, although with its red hairy petiole, its not unpretty. This particular one is growing at about 900m altitude near Kalimantan border at an open area beside a footpath. Shortly after taking this photo, we made a good 7 hours hike back to the nearest road passable to vehicles. That nearly killed me ....

Note: It took me a while to realise what this bug was, initially I thought it made those beetle bite marks on the leaves...

1 comment:

Hort Log said...

Here's a video of one in West Malaysia, loks like the same species:

And here's how it works:

Related Posts with Thumbnails