Male giant water bug carrying eggs

Giant Water Bug (Family Belostomatidae)

Male giant water bug carrying eggs
A male giant water bug (family Belostomatidae) carrying eggs, in captivity at the Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster, Colorado, USA. November 10, 2012.

Sharing the tank at the Butterfly Pavilion with the Sunburst Diving Beetles were a pair of giant water bugs (family Belostomatidae). Belostomatids are the largest of the true bugs, and these were some fairly large specimens (unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the species label).

Giant water bugs are fierce predators with (so I’m told) very painful bites. I’ve never seen one in the wild, so it was pretty exciting getting to look at them up close. The females lay eggs on the male’s wings (top photo), which limits the male’s activities considerably until they hatch. One of ways the male cares for the eggs is by bringing them to the surface to obtain oxygen from the atmosphere.

Giant Water Bug (Belostomatidae)

Here’s the female, lurking for prey:

Giant Water Bug (Belostomatidae)

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