Content tagged with "aquatic insect"

Photo of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bug (Belostoma)

Members of the genus Belostoma can reach 2 inches in length. Strong fliers, they are also called "electric light bugs" because at night they are attracted to artificial lights.

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Photo showing the beak of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bug Beak

Like all other "true bugs," giant water bugs have tubelike, piercing mouthparts. In this case, they inject a saliva that paralyzes and digests their prey. The bug sucks the resulting liquid.

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Photo of a giant water bug nymph

Giant Water Bug Nymph

Giant water bugs develop full wings for flying upon their final molt. Until then, "wing buds" appear on the sides of the thorax of immature bugs. Most true bugs have wings that develop this way.

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Photo of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bugs

Species in the genera Abedus, Belostoma, and Lethocerus
These huge aquatic bugs, which frequently fly around electric lights at night, are infamous for the painful bite they can deliver, but fish, birds—and some people—find them tasty!

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Photo of hellgrammite

Hellgrammite (Dobsonfly Larva)

Hellgrammites are the aquatic larval stage of dobsonflies. The head is equipped with a pair of sharp pincers that can deliver a painful (but harmless) bite.

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Photo of a hellgrammite on a human hand

Hellgrammite Bait

Hellgrammites are commonly used by anglers as bait.

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Photo of a male giant water bug carrying eggs on back

Male Giant Water Bug With Eggs

After mating, the female lays her eggs upon the back of the male, where they remain, protected from predators, until they hatch. The egg-laden males are a remarkable sight.

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Photo of a mayfly


There are hundreds of species in North America.
The mayflies are a fascinating group of insects. The nymphs live from months to years under water, breathing through gills, and the adults fly around in the air, mating, living for only a day or two.

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Photo of mayfly nymph

Mayfly Naiad

The naiads (nymphs) of mayflies somewhat resemble the adults, though they lack wings and have a series of leaflike gills attached below the abdomen.

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Photo of a mayfly naiad crawling on rock underwater

Mayfly Naiad Crawling on Rock Underwater

Mayfly naiads (nymphs) often have flattened heads that help them to adhere to rocks in fast-flowing water. There are 3 (sometimes 2) long cerci extending from the abdomen tip.

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