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Species Lethocerus americanus - Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug - Lethocerus americanus Pacific North West - Lethocerus americanus Pacific North West - Lethocerus americanus Lethocerus sp. - Lethocerus americanus What is it? - Lethocerus americanus Giant Water Bug - Lethocerus americanus what the heck is this? - Lethocerus americanus Lethocerus with parasites - Lethocerus americanus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Nepomorpha (Aquatic Bugs)
Superfamily Nepoidea
Family Belostomatidae (Giant Water Bugs)
Subfamily Lethocerinae
Genus Lethocerus
Species americanus (Giant Water Bug)
Other Common Names
Electric Light Bug, Toe Biter, Fish Killer
Explanation of Names
Lethocerus americanus (Leidy 1847)
Size
♂ 47-57 mm, ♀ 58-59 mm(1)
Identification
anterior margin of eye is bulging, posterior margin of eye is perpendicular to body axis, and eye is almost spherical; outer margin of hind tibia almost straight; width of first hind tarsal segment less than or equal to least interocular distance; anterior margin of fore femur grooved
Range
across North America (Newfoundland to British Columbia to Utah, Nevada, and Florida) plus Mexico (2)
Habitat
ponds and shallow margins of lakes containing submerged or emergent vegetation
Season
spring through fall
Food
nymphs and adults eat aquatic arthropods, snails, small fish, and amphibians
Life Cycle
During spring and early summer, eggs are laid near or in water attached to aquatic plants, stones, leaves or rotting branches. The eggs are brownish-gray, 4-5 mm long, laid in rows. Usually 100 are found in each group, hatching in about 2 weeks. The nymphs look similar to adults but lack wings and are much smaller; they molt 5 times.
Overwinters as an adult in mud at bottom of pond or lake margin.
See Also
in B. griseus, anterior margin of eye is evenly curved, posterior margin of eye is at an oblique angle to body axis, and eye is broadly triangular with rounded corners; outer margin of hind tibia broadly curved; width of first hind tarsal segment greater than least interocular distance (see photo), and anterior margin of fore femur not grooved
in L. uhleri, the middle and hind legs are distinctly banded
Belostoma species are much smaller (15-30 mm) with less elongate bodies