24126B

24126B
Caption: Giant water bug (Lethocerus americanus). Lethocerus americanus is a large water bug (1-2 inches in length) commonly found in ponds and slowly moving fresh water. Also known as the "toe biter", it has the reputation of inflicting painful bites when carelessly handled. It normally feeds on other pond life: insects, tadpoles, salamanders, small fish, and snails. These large brown bugs may fly at night in search of mates or another pond. Adult insects do not breathe underwater, and Lethocerus returns to the surface regularly to breath though two short tubes, strap-like appendages, at the tip of the abdomen. These tubes allow for exchange of air from the atmosphere to a bubble of air trapped under the wings. Air enters the insect's body through holes, called spiracles, in the abdomen. Swimming is accomplished by means of flattened hind legs that are modified for this purpose and resemble oars. The powerful forelegs are tipped with a curved hook shaped claw and are used to grasp and hold prey. Lethocerus then injects a poison through a needle-like beak and sucks the tissue fluid of their prey.
Magnification*: x4
Type: SEM
Copyright 2004 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 24126B,06.01.04,compound eye,insect,insects,invertebrate,invertebrates,ommatidia,Belostomatidae,water bug,Lethocerus americanus,piercing proboscis,toe biter,SEM,giant water bug