What is this?
Location: Palm Canyon, near Palm Springs, CA
April 1, 2011 6:17 pm
We saw this bug in the cold, cold water near Palm Springs, CA the first week of March. (Palm Canyon – Stone Pools). It stayed undewater for a while and then came up and seemed to breathe through a tube that came from its rear end. Pretty large bug…not sure what is on its back….babies?
Signature: Mary, Asheville, NC
This is a Giant Water Bug, and it is something of an anomaly in the insect world in that the male of the species cares for the eggs, which are cemented by the female onto the back of the male. The most commonly encountered Giant Water Bugs are the Toe-Biters in the genus Lethocerus, but that genus does not exhibit this paternal care. Two other genera, Abedus and Belostoma, are both found in California, and they both exhibit paternal care of the eggs. Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to determine which genus your individual belongs to.
What a great website!!!! Thanks! I wonder how many people stumble upon a Giant Water Bug with babies cemented on its back breathing through a tube! So cool!