Water Bug - Belostomatidae

Belostomatidae is a family of insects in the Order Hemiptera and also known as Toe Biter. Known as the larger insect in order Hemiptera. Accur in worldwide with the most of species in North America, South America and East Asia. They are typically found in fresh water and ponds. Most species are large, about 2 cm or more. The largest is Lethocerus that exeed 12 cm. Giant water bugs are a popular food in Thailand.

Identification
body elongate; front legs raptorial, twice as thick as other legs, usually held in front of head, and used for grasping prey; middle and hind legs point toward rear and are used for swimming; forewings brown, leathery, held flat against abdomen
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 while swimming underwater.


Habitat
ponds and shallow margins of lakes containing submerged or emergent vegetation

Life Cycle
During spring and early summer, eggs are laid near or in water attached to aquatic plants, stones, leaves or rotting branches. Males attract the females doing a series of periodic movements near water surface generating ripples in the water known as display pumpingBefore a female begins ovipositing the eggs, she mates with the male. Then a series of intercalated matings and ovipositions occur, females ovipositing 1-4 eggs in each ovipositing bout..The eggs are brownish-gray, 4-5 mm long, laid in rows. Usually 100 are found in each group. Eggs hatch in about 2 to 3 weeks, but their hatching time will decrease as temperature rises. The nymphs look very similar to adults but lack wings and are much smaller; they molt 5 times before becoming adults.
Overwinters as an adult in mud at bottom of pond or lake margin.

1 comment:

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