Belostomatidae sp. (Giant Water Bug sp.)


Belostomatidae sp. is a giant water bug species in the family Belostomatidae.
Approximately 170 species occur worldwide, with approximately 20 species found in North America. 
There are eight species of Belostomatidae known to occur in Florida.
Most species are at least 2 cm long, with the largest exceeding 12 cm.
Giant water bugs look a bit similar to cockroaches but are much larger. 
Unlike cockroaches, giant water bugs have a pair of giant pincers. 
They use these pincers to grab small fish, crustaceans, baby turtles, amphibians, and other similarly sized meals.

Giant water bugs live around sources of water. 
They can be found at the bottom of muddy waters, like ponds or lakes. 
You don’t have to venture into wild sources of water to find these bugs; it’s not uncommon for them to make their way into backyard pools. 
During mating season they fly from pond to pond or pool of water. 
It is during these flights that these insects fly to lights in large numbers, earning their other common name, "electric light bugs". 
Individuals are capable of inflicting a painful bite with their strong beak, and may also pinch with their front legs.

This big guy (6-7 cm) landed on our table while we were having diner in an outdoor restaurant.

Hudson, Pasco County, Florida, USA, 1 April 2022

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