What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Cimicidae

Overview

The cimicids include the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, which can be found in the cryptic recesses of human habitations. All species of cimicids are parasites of mammals or birds.

Though few have encountered them, most people are familiar with bed bugs and their habit of feeding on the blood of humans. Bed bugs usually emerge from their hiding places in darkness and feed upon the blood of a human (or their domesticated pets) and returns to their hiding place once their hunger has been satisfied. Before feeding, bed bugs are flat and ovoid but the abdomen swells up when they have fed and appears cylindrical and purplish.

Like the Anthocoridae, the Cimicidae practice traumatic insemination whereby the male pierces the body of the female in order to insert the sperm.

Distribution

Only one species of Cimicidae, the introduced human parasite, Cimex lectularius, is found in Australia.

  • Cimicidae (Heteroptera)

  • Cimex lectularius

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