Belostomatidae Facts, Habitat, Bite, Eggs

Belostomatidae is a family consisting of giant members. The entire order of Belostomatidae consists of the biggest insects. The species found in America can become up to 2.5 inches in length. The species of Belostomatidae belong to the South American species of giant insects. They are almost 4 inches in length. At maturity, they are fully grown to four inches. They are commonly found under the surface of lakes and ponds. When they see any suspected wader around them, they hide below the surface of the water. There are different nicknames of Giant water bugs found in the family of Belostomatidae.

    Belostomatidae Facts

    There are different nicknames, but toe biter is the most common nickname. They have a habit of biting at humans’ toes, which is painful and startling. They can fly after they become an adult. That’s why they are also called electric light bulbs. In the season of their mating, they fly around and look like lights. They are also called fish killers. People living in Florida, call them alligator ticks. The nicknames do not matter. They are big in size, and they bite. The members of this family share some morphological traits. They have an oval-shaped body and flattened.

    Belostomatidae Habitat

    The Belostomatidae family has a lot of members that are giant in size. Due to their size, they can be visible to anyone. They try to hide under the surface of the water. There are a total of 160 species of giant water bugs under the family of Belostomatidae. The 19 species of giant water bugs that are found in the United States and Canada. Within the range of Belostomatidae, giant water bugs are found in drainage ditches, ponds, and lakes. Their location may vary as they travel from one place to another. But habitat remains the same.

    Belostomatidae Bite

    Belostomatidae members can bite with extreme power that is several times stronger than their size. They have strong forelegs they use to grasp their prey. They have enough power to capture small birds and consume them easily. Giant water bugs have sucking mouthparts. They first pierce their prey and inject them with poisonous enzymes. It can be proved harmful to disturb them. They can easily inject their needle-like mouth to the deeper skin layers. Their bite is painful, which may take hours to soothe down. They are considered harmless, but their bite is very strong. When they bite, a person may experience pain, fever, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, swelling, and cramping.

    Belostomatidae Eggs

    In the family of Belostomatidae, the female lays her eggs on the back of the male. Now it's a male giant water bug’s responsibility to protect these eggs. Their eggs take almost 1 to 2 weeks to hatch till then. The male water bug has to protect them. He brings these eggs to the surface of the water for proper oxygen. They also protect them from predators. The other specie of Belostomatidae under genus Lethocerus lay eggs on the aquatic vegetation. Male still have to protect these eggs from predators. The male most likely submerges under the plant stem protecting the eggs.

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