What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!

Giant water bug

Posted by Erika Barthelmess,
North Country explorer from Canton, NY
April 29, 2015

My first giant water bug of the year! Likely the giant waterbed Lethocerus americaus, this insect int he family Belostomatidae is a native to southern Canada and the United States. It is an aquatic predator that feeds on the larvae of other insects, tadpoles, snails and small fish. Why, you might ask, did I find this one on land? Giant water bugs make seasonal migrations between their smaller feeding/reproductive habitats to larger ponds, lakes and rivers to overwinter. During this migration, they are attracted to lights and shining surfaces. Hence, they land and are often squished or otherwise disrupted in making their way. This one was alive and well - though it didn't photograph too nicely, I left it alone. I am hopeful that it makes it to its spring/summer/fall habitat.