Thursday, June 5, 2014

There's something in the water...

I have a new animal that I am taking care of right now - a Giant Water Bug (probably Lethocerus Americanus).  Actually I have two of them.  One is an aquarium at work.  The other is at home.  One of the two was collected while I was dipping up aquatic invertebrates for a school program.  The second was collected by a student from Winn Elementary last week.

Giant Water Bug feeding on a small goldfish
So why am I keeping two Giant Water Bugs in aquariums?

I want to use them in a couple of programs over the summer - I am doing several programs on animal appearances for the Chippewa River District Library Summer Reading Program

Also, they are just incredibly cool!  An insect that can eat fish and tadpoles ( and even turtles)!  That can be kept alive for a year or longer and doesn't take much work other than feeding it and changing its water once in a while.  And can grow to be over 2 inches long!

Sounds like a fun animal to keep as a pet.

In the picture above, my Giant Water Bug  is busy eating.  To learn more about how they eat check out this post from 2010 (Christine Goforth is an entomologist who blogs at and also for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences).

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