Thursday, May 26, 2011

Look at me

I am a giant water bug (1st image). We are found worldwide. Those of us in the Lethocerinae family are the largest of all (up to 15cm). We have been known to prey upon small vertebrates including fish and frogs. Most recently one of our kind was photographed eating a juvenile Reeve's pond turtle (2nd image) in a ditch next to a rice field in central Japan. The same researcher who observed and recorded the turtle conquest, Dr. Shin-ya Ohba, had already taken a picture of a giant water beetle eating a snake (3rd image). We giant water bugs are known to only attack moving prey, so you can assume that my fellow insect - all 58mm of him - captured and killed the prey in both instances before making a meal of it. And here's how we do so: by gripping it with our powerful front legs and inserting our rostrum (which scientists like to describe as "syringe-like") into the neck. Our venom kills it and then we can feed. I have to say we are proud of our nicknames: toe-biters, electric-light bugs, giant fish killers, and alligator ticks (in Florida). By the way, we can also fly.


  1. Oh. My. God.

    It's a giant bug eating a turtle. And it flies. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!

  2. Amazing how it could kill a snake! WOW


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