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Photo#458320
Water Monster - Lethocerus medius

Water Monster - Lethocerus medius
Copperas Cove , Coryell County, Texas, USA
September 23, 2010
I observed this insect on a small branch about a foot above the water surface of a small rain-fed pond. A medium-sized Southern Leopard Frog leaped for it but missed, at which point the insect slithered down the branch and into the water. This pond is fed only by rain and is routinely bone-dry during July-August, but after 7+ inches of recent rain from Tropical Storm Hermine there is an abundance of life.

Images of this individual: tag all
Water Monster - Lethocerus medius Water Monster - Lethocerus medius Water Monster - Lethocerus medius Water Monster - Lethocerus medius

Moved
Moved from Lethocerus.

do you have images showing the insect itself from other angles?
It could probably be identified to species if so.

Moved
Moved from Giant Water Bugs.
I think we can call this Lethocerus because the eggs aren't laid on the male's back.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

It's a
Giant Water Bug, family Belostomatidae. Some people call them "Toe Biters".

 
This is a really cool shot. A
This is a really cool shot. As I understand it, the males keep the eggs moist until they hatch by periodically watering them.

I've tried to witness this in the wild (have a pond with lots of them) but have never been able to locate any eggs, much less males watering them.

 
That's true.
The males take care of the eggs. Some attach them to their backs, and swim around with them. They're amazing insects!

 
That's true
I have a few more shots of what might be eggs on a males back, I didn't post it because I wasn't sure I was seeing it right. I'll post them before my head hits a pillow tonight ..

 
That's true
Found them quicker than anticipated .. if the last photo doesn't belong let me know and I'll trash it.
Thanks!
Jim

 
The added images...
shouldn't be linked to the original series because they're not of the same individual--in fact, the ones with eggs on their back must belong to a different genus.

 
The added images ...
OK, thanks, Charley! I'm removing them now.

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