Bedbugs (Order Hemiptera: Family Cimicidae)

  • M. W. Service


There are two species of bedbugs both of which commonly feed on man; Cimex lectularius which has a widespread distribution and C. hemipterus ( = rotundatus) commonly called the tropical bedbug and which is essentially a species of the Old and New World tropics but which also occurs in temperate regions. A few other Cimicidae occasionally feed on man, such as Leptocimex boueti, which is primarily an ectoparasite of bats in West Africa and Cimex columbarius in Europe which normally feeds on pigeons. It is not always easy to separate the two common bedbugs, but in C. lectularius the prothorax is generally about two and a half times as wide as long whereas in C. hemipterus it is only about twice as wide as long and its margins are not so flattened; also in C. hemipterus the abdomen is not so roundish as in C. lectularius.


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  1. Anon. (1973) The Bedbug, 8th ed. (British Museum (Nat. Hist.), London), Economic series 5, 16 pp.Google Scholar
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  4. Usinger, R. L. (1966) Monograph of Cimicidae (HemipteraHeteroptera), (The Thomas Say Foundation), vol. 7; Ent. Soc. Am., 585 pp.Google Scholar

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© M W Service 1980

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