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Annu Rev Entomol. 2007;52:351-74.

Biology of the bed bugs (Cimicidae).

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  • 1Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


The cimicids, or bed bugs, belong to a highly specialized hematophagous taxon that parasitizes primarily humans, birds, and bats. Their best-known member is the bed bug, Cimex lectularius. This group demonstrates some bizarre but evolutionarily important biology. All members of the family Cimicidae show traumatic insemination and a suite of female adaptations to this male trait. Cimicids therefore constitute an ideal model system for examining the extreme causes and consequences of sexual selection. Our dual goal in re-examining the extensive literature on this group is to identify issues relevant to pest control, such as dispersal ecology and the recent global spread, and to understand the selective forces that have shaped the unique aspects of this insect's biology.

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