Giant water bugs represent the family Belostomatidae, a member of the “true bug” order, Hemiptera. These brown, flattened bugs lurk in freshwater habitat around the world, ambushing their prey and sucking it dry. They are the largest insects in the order Hemiptera, and occur worldwide, with most of the species in North America, South America, Northern Australia and East Asia. All true bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts, among other characteristics. Lethocerus is a genus of large water bugs in the family Belostomatidae, They are widely distributed with the North American species Lethocerus americanus native to southern Canada and the United States (north of 35°N; other Lethocerus species are found southwards). during lake sampling in Lassen Volcanic National Park. [7], Their frontal legs are modified into raptorial appendages that they use to grab their prey, except in the African Limnogeton, which has "normal" frontal legs and is a specialized snail-eater. [5] In South and Southeast Asia they are often collected for this purpose using large floating traps on ponds, set with black lights to attract the bugs. [1] There are about 170 species found in freshwater habitats worldwide, with more than 110 in the Neotropics, more than 20 in Africa, almost as many in the Nearctic, and far fewer elsewhere. They are actually rather common, but rarely seen, for our worlds don’t blend sweetly together and they are sometimes mistaken as very big cockroaches. The largest are members of the genus Lethocerus, which can exceed 12 cm (4.5 in) and nearly reach the length of some of the largest beetles in the world. Some are known to kill prey many times their own size. [1][3][4] Giant water bugs are a popular food in parts of Asia. These predators are typically encountered in freshwater ponds, marshes and s… They are certainly found … How to Catch a Giant Water Bug. [7] Occasionally, when encountered by a larger animal, such as a human, they have been known to "play dead" and most species can emit a fluid from their anus. Mostly flat and oval shaped with dead leaf-like coloring. The largest species of giant water bug can exceed 12 cm (4.5 in)! The Giant Water Bug is also known to give a very painful bite when it is disturbed or threatened. Another defense when disturbed is the giant water bug’s ability to squirt unpleasant smelling fluid from the anus for a few feet. Habits When it comes to grisly predators, a giant water bug could hold its own against a hungry polar bear any day. Snorkel like breathing tubes are also located at the hind end of the abdomen. Giant water bugs are aquatic creatures found in swimming pools, porches, and parking lots. There are about 170 species found in freshwater habitats worldwide, with more than 110 in the Neotropics, more than 20 in Africa, almost as many in the Nearctic, and far fewer elsewhere. Although their bite is excruciatingly painful, it is of no medical significance. Giant water bugs can feign death—becoming rigid for several minutes—if removed from the water, only to snap back to life. Some species of waterbug can even grow up to 4 inches (10cm) in length. Giant water bugs are oval-shaped, with pincer-like front appendages that capture and hold prey. Therefore consider the list below as a general indicator of the insects, bugs and spiders that may be found in a given state or province. This allows them to then suck out the liquefied remains. They are the largest true bug in Michigan and, for that matter, anywhere in North America. The nymphs, which look like mini versions of the adult, go through five stages of growth (instars) over the next 2 months before reaching adulthood. While we expect giant water bugs to occur in all Klamath Network parks, our crews have specifically recorded Belostoma bakeri, and Lethocerus sp. 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