Image: Water Bug Male Illustration

Water Bug Male Illustration

Giant water bugs are insects. They have three stages in their life cycle: egg - larva - adult.

Creator:
Andrew Howells
Rights:
© Australian Museum

Notes

Giant water bugs are insects. They have three stages in their life cycle: egg - larva - adult.

Adult giant water bugs have flattened bodies and three pairs of legs. Their front legs are strong and used to grab prey while their back legs have a thick fringe of swimming hairs.

Giant water bugs live in wetlands, ponds and lakes that have lots of water plants.

Giant water bugs eat other invertebrates that live or fall into the water. Because they are so large adults can eat fish, frogs and tadpoles.

Large fish, turtles and water birds all like to eat giant water bugs.

Giant water bugs breathe by pushing the tip of their abdomen through the surface of the water and drawing air into their special breathing tubes.

When some water bugs breed, the female lays her eggs on the back of the male. She does this so the eggs are safe from predators. The male then strokes the eggs with his hind legs to maintain a fresh flow of water to them. Other water bugs lay their eggs on plants.

Giant water bugs can bite, so it is best not to catch them with your hands.

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