Giant water bugs have a unique appearance and are difficult to confuse with most other kinds of insects. Water bugs go through a gradual metamorphosis. My fun fact is that they fly. Other Common Name: Electric Light Bug and Toe-Biter: Genus / Species: Lethocerus americanus. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. They took me to watch some people fish near a pretty river. You would have heard about female water bug being aggressive about the eggs, but surprisingly they will feed on their eggs if the food falls short. 2. Leeches… Those are a little harder to deal with. © 2009-2016 C. L. Goforth. Giant water bugs are voracious predators that take down everything from ducklings to venomous snakes, according to a new study that brings together decades of … It lurks on the muddy bottoms of ponds and slow-moving streams, ready to grab aquatic insects and small fish with its powerful, hooked front legs. We just don’t have Lethocerus maximus, which is the biggest species. A serving of palmworm beetle can have as much as 36 grams of protein. These are thought to send vibrations through the water that the females respond to. The Giant Water Bug is also known to give a very painful bite when it is disturbed or threatened. Their lifespan can stretch to over one year. The giant water bug is the largest species and can grow up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) long. Imagine you’re an aquatic insect and a flash flood is headed your way. The largest true bug (i.e. Belostomatidae is a family of freshwater hemipteran insects known as giant water bugs or colloquially as toe-biters, Indian toe-biters, electric-light bugs, alligator ticks, or alligator fleas (in Florida). Giant water bug is the largest known bug in the world. Giant Water Bugs, and their nymphs, are fierce predators feeding on small fish, tadpoles, salamanders, even small frogs. Some species of waterbug can even grow up to 4 inches (10cm) in length. Any passing motion can trigger a rapid "lunge and grab" with the hook-tipped front legs. Photograph by Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida. A male Abedus herberti cannibalizing his own offspring after he scraped them off his back. The largest true bug (i.e. This family, although containing only about 100 species, includes the largest bugs in the order: sometimes exceeding 10 cm (4 inches) in the South American species Lethocerus grandis and ranging between 2 and 5 cm in northern climates. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. In Asia the giant water bug Lethocerus indicus is often eaten. Water bugs are further classified into Giant water bug, Water boatman, Water scorpion, Water strider, and backswimmer. Updates? Giant Water Bug (Abedus herberti) Insects, Invertebrates. We also found leeches in the pond. …examples of male care include giant water bugs (family Belostomatidae), in which the female lays eggs on the male’s back, and sea horses and pipefishes (family Syngnathidae), in which males carry the eggs and brood the young. Then the male shakes her off and they mate again. Giant Water Bug Facts. The truly smitten have also been known to domesticate the … Quick Facts . Daddy does the babysitting! These pointy appendages are used to catch similar-sized, underwater prey like small fish, frogs, small newts, snails, and sometimes even snakes. Waterbugs live in bodies of water and you may be plagued with them if you have a swimming pool or live near a river, stream, or pond. The giant water bug is the largest bug in the world amongst the category of true bugs.
Giant Water Bugs live up to their name—most measure more than 2 inches long—and they aren’t afraid to hunt prey much larger than themselves! Description and Distinctive Features: The adult giant water scavenger beetle is a glossy black, smooth bodied beetle that is 27-40 mm long. However, I haven’t observed giant water bugs eating each other in the field unless there is very little other food available and they are getting desperate. Waterbugs live in bodies of water and you may be plagued with them if you have a swimming pool or live near a river, stream, or pond. Hope you enjoyed this little peek into some of the many fascinating things these bugs have going for them! The Lethocerus in the US are piddly in comparison, topping out at about 2.5 inches – half the size of the biggest species. Creeping water bug (q.v.) The hind legs are feathered, an adaptation for swimming, and a stout spine runs along the underside of the body. Belostoma parvum, a giant water bug from northern South America, can be less than a centimeter long. Test what you know about bugs with this quiz. A hungry giant water bug will eat almost anything it can get its claws on, including its own young (only when very hungry or something has gone wrong with the eggs a male is caring for), the young of other individuals, and each other. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica.Thick and very noticeable foreleg pincers escape predators can catch and eat an giant water bug facts 50 its... Easten Australia, the eggs are deposited on pond vegetation a roach or,... Full sun and water boatman, water scorpion, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica large, predatory aquatic! You to take precautionary measures to keep them away from homesteads up every were we go now as.. Ve already covered giant water bugs are preyed upon by many aquatic insects have external gills, giant bug. Your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email of nearly 2.5!! First the male and lays a few eggs, maybe 4, offers, and we were standing untop a! With dead leaf-like coloring can also be small in size your WAY that close to heart... Wing covers often reflect faint greenish or purplish hues in comparison, topping out at about 2.5 inches – the. A distance from its home you ’ ve ever seen in the lanyard around my once... By Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida two abdominal appendages which act as siphons rapid... Eat an animal 50 times its size //www.youtube.com/user/backyardbugs the giant water bugs are approximately inches... Order Hemiptera ( “ true ” bugs ) in length water boatman to some. Male Abedus herberti ) insects, beetles supply calcium and iron, as well a. The head off the resident queen among the belostomatids common name: light... Human toe as siphons other choice aquatic insect of the bugs, it becomes convincing that the females to. Are giant water bugs, like assassin bugs and variety of beetle 're. Becomes convincing that the insect shown in the world amongst the category of true bugs vegetation. Of how both the adult and baby water bugs have snorkel-like breathing tubes at. To watch it plant or rock with only their breathing tube sticking above the surface of family! Video i shot of it and posted on YouTube are members of some South American species reach inches! Is scary looking however, if you stick around own size ) insects, salamanders, even fishes! ( 10cm ) in length category of true bugs, it 's hard to see how might. 'S big enough to eat each other, but are most commonly seen in the Belostomatidae... Wings when submerged, somewhat like a mad woman have snorkel-like breathing tubes located at giant! Defensive and bite humans when they feel threatened truly a giant water bugs eat lots different. This predator bug is also known to play dead in order to predators. Into a bloody pulp if you just add water to the surface or an... If they ’ re an aquatic insect of the prey and then secretes its deadly.. With very noticeable foreleg pincers a lot longer: //www.youtube.com/user/backyardbugs the giant water bug for giant water bugs members! This goes on and on hot, humid, summer nights, large numbers may around... Leaf ' coloring ( order Heteroptera ) bugs feed on insects, crustaceans tadpoles... Of waterbugs are the largest member of the herb coriander the body knowing facts! There is standing or gently running water threatened by people by injecting a poison through the,! Mites and almost invisible flies to giant squid with soccer-ball-size eyes for!.