How scientists used bloodsucking assassin bugs as syringes

How scientists used bloodsucking assassin bugs as syringes

One terrifying bug has been helping scientists bring the endangered Iberian lynx back from the edge of extinction,Discover reports. Scientists used the insect, known as the triatomine assassin bug, to collect blood samples from the wildcats. Because of stress and inexperience, female lynxes new to pregnancy often lose their first litter. Scientists, who wanted to prevent that from happening, needed the blood samples to identify when a pregnancy had occurred. But they feared that tranquilizing the animals in order to collect the samples would itself cause distress. To avoid that, the scientists employed the bug and its hollow, needlelike mouthpart. Although useful, the bug’s time as a syringe was limited; today the scientists use a fecal pregnancy test.

Source:http://news.sciencemag.org/sifter/2015/07/how-scientists-used-bloodsucking-assassin-bugs-as-syringes

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