I caught this little guy while trolling ditches for inverts for my naturalized tank at work. He was about 2.5″ long and particularily vicious. He killed virtually ever other invert in the tank, stole food from the 9 shiners and 1 “wild-caught” koi and the small frog and generally made a demon of himself. I think it’s a hellgrammite? Or some kind of stone nymph. Anyhow, the tank overheated one weekend during a power failure and i lost killer bug and my frog. 🙁 Keep up the good work! Cheers,
This is a Water Tiger, the larva of a Predaceous Diving Beetle. There is an interesting description on a website known as Findarticles. We are sorry to hear about you stewing your local fauna tank. It sounds like a refreshing change for the usual jobsite aquarium. We once kept a Los Angeles River aquarium going for five years. Though the winged insects flew away, the three mosquito fish produced many generations until they finally succumbed to a rogue raccoon. We kept the aquarium outside on the patio.
Update: (11/04/2007) edible: water tigers
Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne,
I hope you both had a good trip to D.C. Both larval and adult predatory/scavenging water beetles are eaten in China and Southeastern Asia. A batch of adult Water Beetles were collected for me in Louisiana this past summer; I hope to receive them soon. They were gathered with light traps that some insect-hunters used; swarms of various insects came. I’m wondering if any of your readers know of people who collect insects this way, and if anyone has tried putting lights over the shallows of a pond to attract larvae and other water insects. If so I’d love to learn about their experiences. Best,