Table of Contents
Toxins, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2016)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Assassin bugs like this bee killer (Pristhesancus plagipennis) are members of a unique lineage of [...] Read more. Assassin bugs like this bee killer (Pristhesancus plagipennis) are members of a unique lineage of venomous insects, suborder Heteroptera. Over the last two hundred million years, heteropterans have diversified from a single venomous and predaceous ancestor to fill a wide range of niches including predation in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and blood-feeding ectoparasitism. While research has indicated that heteropterans produce neurotoxins with convergent features to those produced by other animal groups, the composition and evolution of their venom remains enigmatic.