Fauna of Atacama: English
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Animals of the Atacama Desert, Chile

Winchuka or Vinchuca: Triatoma

Museo Virtual, Atacama
W. Griem, 2014, 2017
Vinchuca or Winchuka of the Atacama desert, Chile

Vinchuca or Winchuka of the Atacama desert, Chile. Large Photo
Foto W. Griem 1990

Animals of Atacama: Winchuka or Vinchuca

español / deutsch / english

Winchuka or Vinchuca (Triatoma):
Vinchucas belong to the group of bed bugs (hemiptera) and can be found (unfortunately) very frequently in the Atacama desert. They have sizes from 3 mm to 1.5 cm. They are usually brown/grey, some have red markings.
Vinchuca can transmit Chagas disease. That's why you have to protect yourself well in the desert, especially where there is a high population and a high number of infected individuals. Always leave the tent tightly closed, observe the ground towards the direction from where the wind blows. Vinchuca is generally found in the Atacama region of the Atacama region in the sector Inca de Oro, Quebrada Chañaral Alto, but also in other places.

Interesting is the description of R. A. Philippi during his trip to Atacama:
"Strange is that here in Atacama (today: San Pedro de Atacama) there are no mosquitoes, fleas or cockroaches, but that's why vinchucas often appear. Brown cockroaches with wings, which reach as an adult a length of 11 lines and annoy those who sleep at night. In one morning we killed 42 animals, including the little ones, in my bed. I never felt the itches, but my companion, Mr. Döll, had great discomfort and suffered a lot, the swelling remained for several days." (Philippi, 1856)

Obviously at this time they did not know the danger of infection from Chagas disease.

Detalle de una Vinchuca
linea 300

Informative Chart:
Systematic:
Arthrópoda / Insecta / Hemiptera / Reduviidae / Triatoma
Habitat: Plenum Desert, near mining districts

more photos:
otra vinchuca
normal: 350  / large: 700

PHILIPPI, Rodulfo Amando (1856): Die sogenannte Wüste Atacama. - Mittheilungen aus Justus Perteś geographischer Anstalt; Petermann; Justus Pertes; Gotha.

Wikipedia y Chagas:
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfermedad_de_Chagas
Wikipedia y Vinchuca:
 http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinchuca




Animals of Atacama
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Animales en Atacama

Animals of Atacama
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Loco (Concholepas concholepas)
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Winchuka near the Quebrada Chañaral Alto, Atacama region, Chile.

Winchuka near the Quebrada Chañaral Alto, Atacama region, Chile.
W. Griem, 1990)
en grande


Red Vinchuca in the Chañaral Alto Gorge /

Photo: Red Vinchuca in the Chañaral Alto Gorge /
El Chinche; 1990. (Foto W.Griem 1990; Dig.2005)
Large Photo


Vinchuca en el desierto de Atacama - Chile

Vinchuca of the Atacama desert, near Inca de Oro -
Foto: W. Griem / 2012: Ca50D 6653  - Large Photo

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Published: 22.4.2006, updated: 14.10.2017
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