Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Subfamily Lethocerinae

Lethocerus sp - Lethocerus americanus Large flat insect - Lethocerus americanus Eastern toe biter or giant water bug? - Lethocerus americanus Predacious Beetle - Lethocerus uhleri Lithocerus or Benacus? - Benacus griseus Lethocerus griseus - Benacus griseus Lethocerus americanus or Benacus griseus? - Lethocerus giant water beetle - Lethocerus
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
Numbers
5 spp. in 2 genera in our area, ~25 spp. in 3 genera worldwide(1)
Size
at 53-120 mm, includes the largest Heteroptera(1); our spp. up to ~75 mm
Identification
forewings cover all of abdomen except for two tube-like appendages at posterior end that function in breathing atmospheric air which is then stored in a bubble beneath the wings
Range
worldwide (temperate to tropical regions), most diverse in the New World; one small genus restricted to E. Asia(1)
Works Cited
1.Taxonomic revision of the subfamily Lethocerinae Lauck & Menke (Heteroptera: Belostomatidae)
Perez-Goodwyn P.J. 2006. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde, Serie A (Biologie) 695: 1–71.