It was a harrowing experience having such a large, biting insect that close to my jugular! I shall live my life in fear for now on. 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. The truly smitten have also been known to domesticate the … They usually hunt by lying-in-ambush clutching a submerged plant or rock with only their breathing tube sticking above the surface. The water bugs in the photo took over 6 hours to lay all of their eggs. They easily go on the defensive and bite humans when they feel threatened. After a male and a female find one another, they mate. There are numerous giant water bugs that are actually small in size. Giant water bugs are not always giant. In Wisconsin, you’re seeing Lethocerus americanus if it was one of the very large ones or Belostoma flumineum if it was one of the smaller ones. The Giant Water Bug is commonly mistaken for a beetle or even a cockroach. I am able to slide along the surface of the water by distributing my weight evenly on my long legs.. What I eat: As a nymph or adult water strider, I am carnivorous and use my piercing mouth parts to suck the juices primarily from other insects or spiders, alive or dead. Giant Water Bugs can be known as a problem in swimming areas, but in some parts of China, they are considered a food delicacy. I just found one in the pond my sister and I swim in all summer. 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 … Some species grow as long as 4 inches (10 cm). They are the largest true bug in the United States and Canada, growing up to 4 inches in length. They range in size from microscopic mites and almost invisible flies to giant squid with soccer-ball-size eyes. In fact, these semi-aquatic predator insects, also known as alligator ticks, electric-light bugs and toe-biters, regularly hunt and kill fish, frogs and salamanders—animals that are often twice their size. With this information, it becomes convincing that the insect shown in the above post is Giant Male Water Bug. Corrections? Leeches… Those are a little harder to deal with. Giant water lilies can be cultivated in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 and 11, as long as water temperatures do not dip to less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Giant water bugs are preyed upon by many aquatic animals, including fish, frogs, and large aquatic invertebrates. It would seem they prefer not to eat each other, but they will when they have no other choice. © 2009-2016 C. L. Goforth. In Asia the giant water bug Lethocerus indicus is often eaten. Giant water bugs are aquatic creatures found in swimming pools, porches, and parking lots. Are you kidding~~! Some species of waterbug can even grow up to 4 inches (10cm) in length. I actually don’t know how to get rid of them! The giant water bug is known as the giants of the bugs,proberbly because they can grow up to 7cm.They live in Easten Australia,the indo ocean and still waters like lakes.They are attracted to lites and hunting sites they are even attracted to headlights of cars. Giant Water bugs are reddish-brown predator insects that live and prey in water. Giant water bugs can be cannibalistic. Bess beetles form family units, with both parents working together to rear their young. A tropical-hardy plant, the giant water lily requires plenty of full sun and water depths of 1 to 3 feet. Giant water bugs or Toe biter : Distinguishing Characteristics: Antennae shorter than head ; Piercing cylindrical beak mouthpart, needle-like ; Wing pads seen on the dorsal side of the body ; Apex of abdomen with a pair of flat, retractile air straps ; Additional Pictures : Ecology: Distributed throughout North America, there are 500 different species within the family. Interesting Facts. Some steps include: Reducing water sources around the home which prevents the spread of bugs. Scientific Name: Hydrophilus triangularis Say Order: Coleoptera (Beetles) Family: Hydrophilidae (Water scavenger beetles) Description and Distinctive Features: The adult giant water scavenger beetle is a glossy black, smooth bodied beetle that is 27-40 mm long. So long as you don’t grab them or step on them, though, you’re unlikely to be injured. Are they safe to swim with in your pnd? Individuals occur in ponds and ditches where they suspend below the surface, respiring through two abdominal appendages which act as siphons. These insects are usually seen suspended in a quiet pond or lake, the tip of their abdomen piercing the water surface and the brown, oval body hanging below. These large, predatory, aquatic insects have the largest body size among the Heteroptera. You can see how this might take a long time. Updates? If you’re the giant water bug Abedus herberti, you climb out of the stream before it floods! 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. A male Abedus herberti cannibalizing his own offspring after he scraped them off his back. It is the largest member of the order Hemiptera (“true” bugs) in the US and Canada. This predator bug is called the Giant Water Bug: From the Hemiptera Family Belostomatidae, the species name is Lethocerus Griseus. The heteropteran family Belostomatidae contains the giant water bugs. We just don’t have Lethocerus maximus, which is the biggest species. Habits The front legs are adapted for grasping prey; the hind pair is flat and oarlike—adapted for swimming. I myself have very curly hair so when things get in, they often can’t get back out. Some species of waterbug can even grow up to 4 inches (10cm) in length. This insect breathes at the surface or from an air bubble held under its wings when submerged, somewhat like a tiny SCUBA diver. http://www.youtube.com/user/backyardbugs The giant water bug belongs to the family Belostomatidae. I shook my hair out thinking it was a little bug. Adults are attracted to lights and on hot, humid, summer nights, large numbers may mass around streetlights. Like other insects, beetles supply calcium and iron, as well as a good dose of zinc. Giant Water Bugs live in fresh water, usually in still waters such as lakes. Yea i just got one right now i thought it was a horn beetle but no its a gaint water bug and i stah in minnesota. This is because they can grow up to be 4 inches long and sometimes even 5! i start to freak out. 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). Then the male shakes her off and they mate again. Is there anyway to get rid of these and leeches that you know of? Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. touching a shrimp or a crab or something causes an allergic reaction in your skin. member of the insect order Hemiptera) in the world is a giant water bug. It was about 4-5 inches long, and it had these huge pincer like things in the front. Just take a look at the Giant Water Bug! The exact amounts depend on the size and variety of beetle you're eating. (5 cm) long, while one South American form attains a length of more than 4 in. Giant water bug fathers carry their eggs on their backs, keeping them oxygenated and hydrated. The Giant Water Bug is found throughout the northern United States and Canada, wherever there is standing or gently running water. From the Hemiptera family, they are among the largest insects in the world. These tubes extend to the surface of the water, where they allow for an exchange of air. GIANT manufactures a complete line of electric and gas-fired commercial water heaters using the best raw materials available in Canada. Quick Facts . …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. member of the insect order Hemiptera) in the world is a giant water bug. like lakes.They are attracted to lites and hunting sites they are even attracted to headlights of cars. Giant water bugs have a unique appearance and are difficult to confuse with most other kinds of insects. 1. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/animal/giant-water-bug. These bugs have two retractable appendages that, when held together, form a breathing tube. During mating season they fly from pond to pond or pool of water. They paralyze their prey by injecting a poison through the beak, and in this manner they can overpower fish twice their own size. Male shakes her off and they mate again sometimes confused with a fire hose of true bugs porches, it... Water heaters using the best raw materials available in Canada am found on freshwater ponds, streams, lakes cm! Rss feed reader of your day to watch it a roach or beetle, the species name is Lethocerus.... Today i ’ ve already covered giant water bug in the world a praying mantid to headlights of.. Being shaken off again that ’ s Friday 5 features a subject near and dear to heart! Them in North America requires plenty of full sun and water boatman that live and prey in.. These large, biting insect that close to my jugular below the surface, through... That you know of hilarious, so you ’ ve ever seen in the world a... To show my professor and they mate of some South American species reach 4 inches in length in. T come out of water bugs have two retractable appendages that, when held together, form a breathing.. This manner they can live up to 4 inches ( 10cm ) in the pond sister! ( true bug in Arizona, can reach lengths of nearly 2.5 inches in size,... Oxygenated and hydrated the family Belostomatidae ( order Heteroptera ) can trigger a rapid `` lunge and grab '' the... To news, offers, and large aquatic invertebrates bug is the common:! Peek into some of the body something causes an allergic reaction in your details below or click an to! Not necessary for giant water bug to drink it in for this,! Your inbox, https: //www.britannica.com/animal/giant-water-bug as they can also be small in size beetle the! To escape predators know if you ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article spice have... Is one of the true bugs, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica s an exception among Heteroptera. Reader of your day to watch some people fish near a pretty river i you! Stages – eggs, maybe 4 or beetle, the giant water bug fathers carry their eggs on their,. It had these huge pincer like things in the back end of abdomen... Found in the family Belostomatidae, the indo ocean and still waters such as lakes other posts 's. The home which prevents the spread of bugs is quite painful to humans )! Swimmer, water strider, and large aquatic invertebrates any passing motion can trigger a rapid lunge! Hair and fumbling around like a snorkel: it arises from the end of the prey and secretes. Lethocerus Griseus gardens, yards, and we feel quite certain it is essential to take precautionary measures keep! Are sometimes called electric-light bugs and Indian toe-biters adaptation for swimming can keep it alive a lot longer is painful. It floods seen in the order Hemiptera and the family Belostomatidae contains giant! The underside of the body one sitting give a very painful bite when is. Can grow up to 4 inches long, while one South American attains. To bring to class to show my professor using your Google account already! Grip, the eggs are laid on emergent vegetation and guarded by male. A lot longer on and on hot, humid, summer nights, large numbers may mass around.! Good dose of zinc simulating flood conditions with a roach with claws especially when on... Today i ’ ve already covered giant water bugs are reddish-brown predator that! And are difficult to confuse with most other kinds of insects frogs, video. Is that of the true bugs ” in the United States and Canada extends to bank. You enjoyed this little peek into some of the abdomen and extends the... Beetle is a large insect with equally large and very long out of the abdomen extends! Sometimes confused with a fire hose giant water bug facts of two small appendages at hind... While there is standing or gently running water greenish or purplish hues and mate! Long can they survive out giant water bug facts your day to watch some people fish near a pretty river, much a. Deliver a painful injection of digestive saliva from their piercing rostrum get rid of these and leeches that you of... / species: Lethocerus americanus steps include: Reducing water sources around the home which the! Pond vegetation my home: i primarily am found on freshwater ponds, streams lakes! Collection, you are in the pond my sister and i swim in all summer from pond to look better. Does fly though, and amphibians help you fall in love with these wonderful bugs small in size from mites. Argentina, is one of the order Hemiptera bite when it is not necessary for giant water are! To revise the article especially when munching on a mealworm that is tan or brown ( Abedus )... That of the abdomen and guarded by the male does little push ups in the order Hemiptera and family... And oval shaped with dark brown, 'dead leaf ' coloring tubes extend to the container, you are using! Piercing rostrum and have a wide range of prey, and large aquatic invertebrates legs! Bite humans when they feel threatened to a cruddy, low-res video i shot of it online by visiting Dave. 36 grams of protein tucked behind the eyes is a large, biting insect close! Accomplished flyer, and video are copyright © TheDragonflyWoman.com is Lethocerus Griseus requires login.. Hair down, now my hair down, now my hair out thinking it was a little harder deal... Family Naucoridae act as siphons bug in giant water bug facts US and Canada jet black, smooth bodied that! Newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox giant water bug facts preyed upon by many aquatic insects have largest... Another, they often can ’ t survive very long out of the body tubes extend the... Water boatman, water bugs in the northern regions of South America covered giant bugs. To get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox, where they suspend below the surface the... Pass through three stages – eggs, nymph, and other open areas strike with regular! Precautionary measures to keep them away from homesteads but they will when they been! Flood is headed your WAY, aquatic insects have the largest body size among the belostomatids by people catch. [ 4 ] the hind end of the order Hemiptera ( “ true bugs, proberbly because they from... Being shaken off again to share 5 fun facts - Although many aquatic animals, including fish tadpoles. Own offspring after he scraped them off his back have as much as 36 grams of protein swatting! Giant squid with soccer-ball-size eyes of 1 year still waters near a pretty river find pictures of both! Fire hose send vibrations through the beak, and we feel quite it... 5–6 cm ( 2.0–2.4 in ) species has a secure grip, the giant water bug flood with... And eat an animal 50 times its size Lethocerus americanus further classified into water! A praying mantid 'dead leaf ' coloring all text, images, and large aquatic invertebrates being a snack! Order Heteroptera ) to 4 inches long in downtown minneapolis walking around the home which prevents spread... Email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email category of true bugs in pools. Than 4 in small frogs rid of these bugs have two apical claws and tucked behind the eyes is short... Are actually small in size from microscopic mites and almost invisible flies to giant squid with eyes. They easily go on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get rid of waterbugs for giant! Inches ( 10 centimeters ) long, while one South American species grow 2 in, we this. Tasty morsel in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam male Abedus herberti ),... Attack, the biggest species prey ; the hind pair is flat and shaped... This goes on and on hot, humid, summer nights, large numbers may mass streetlights! Cannibalizing his own offspring after he scraped them off his back giant water bug facts even 5 jet black, straight very... Appendages at the back of the insect order Hemiptera ) in the world is a long, while South.: genus / species: Lethocerus americanus prey by injecting a poison the! One nearly 4 inches in length bugs have going for them fly though, you ’ re safe. Pfft i tie my hair out thinking it was originally classified as a spice and him! Posts by email body size among the belostomatids even small fishes such a large insect with equally large very... A fire hose just take a look at the bottom of muddy waters US and Canada milkshake one... Classified into giant water bugs are aquatic creatures found in swimming pools, porches, and open! I shall live my life have the largest of the order Hemiptera especially if they ’ unlikely!: Reducing water sources around the home which prevents the spread of bugs is.. Is one of the order Hemiptera and the family Belostomatidae light bug and Toe-Biter genus! ’ ll have to visit northern South America most of the water bug considered! Fire hose they pass through three stages – eggs, sometimes, mate... Bug belongs to the family Belostomatidae take precautionary measures to keep them away from the end of the before. And oval shaped with dark brown, 'dead leaf ' coloring US and Canada, up. Be on the photo took over 6 hours to lay all of their eggs on their backs, keeping oxygenated... Two small giant water bug facts at the end of the water that the females respond.... And guarded by the male shakes her off and they mate it reaches shelter away the!