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Giant water bug

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Giant water bug
Lethocerus.jpg
Scientific Classification
Genera

Subfamily: Belostomatinae

Subfamily: Lethocerinae

Subfamily: Horvathiniinae

Giant Water Bugs
Giant Water Bugs 00122.jpg

The Giant Water Bug is one of the largest insects in the United States. These bugs could sometimes show up under porch lights. You could also find them in clear, freshwater streams and ponds because they like slow moving water. Their life span would be one year or longer. The larvae eat small aquatic invertebrates, while adults prefer any small animal they can handle. Many of these bugs are kept in zoo's, and fed to the crickets. They are ambush hunters, meaning they lye motionless, waiting for their prey. When lying motionless, they resemble dead leaves. Although they aren't very dangerous, they can deliver a nasty bite. Some have explained the bite to be really painful, causing the finger or hand to swell up quickly.

Anatomy

Description

The Giant Water Bug is a large insect species with very noticeable foreleg pincers. Mostly flat and oval shaped with dead leaf-like coloring. It is knows for playing dead to escape predators. The Giant Water Bug is also known to give a very painful bite when it is disturbed or threatened. They make their homes at the bottom of muddy waters. This bug is drawn to light sources. The general size of this bug is forty millimeters to sixty-two millimeters (1.57inches to 2.44inches).

Reproduction

Female Giant Water Bugs deposit eggs on the backs of their mates. Throughout a six to twelve day brooding period, males display many behaviors that are important to egg-nymph survival. Females depend on male postcopulatory behaviors for a successful reproduction and it exists for male backspace availability to limit female reproduction.

Ecology

Giant Water Bugs presumably are vectors for the disease Brucelosis, which is a leprosy-like affliction that attacks ungulates. They breath through their hind end. When they are in the water, they raise the tip of their abdomen into the air and extend two tail-like breathing tubes. You don't want to pick up these bugs, seeing as they have piercing mouth parts. They can bite pretty bad, and inject an anesthetic saliva used to subdue prey. They are known as "Toe Biters" in Florida because they are attracted to bright lights at night. Giant Water Bugs can be known as a problem in swimming areas, but in some parts of China, they are considered a food delicacy.

Interesting Facts

The Giant Water Bug has wings that overlap at the back end of the abdomen. They are good fliers which benefit them because they fly from pond to pond to look for better habitats. These bugs hunt small fish, tadpoles, snails, insects, and other invertebrates and catch their prey with their strong front lets. They have a beak for piercing and sucking, and used to inject a toxin into their prey, killing it. Their back legs are quiet flat and resemble an oar, and are used for swimming. Giant Water But nymphs hatch in about six days.

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