Giant Water Bug from Kenya

Tarantula Eating Man Killer
Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 1:15 AM
I am currently serving in a mission for my church in Kisumu, Kenya. One night during the time just before the rainy season (March) my companion and I were playing Rook when we heard a knocking at the door. We came out to inspect, but saw no one. So this happened several times and we finally got curious enough to investigate. We thought maybe it was some kids, but we were wrong. We saw this little thing on our porch. I was about to kill it when my companion suggested we take some pictures. I went to get the Rook card for scale and when I bent down to put the card next to the bug, it flew right at my face. I dodged it, more surprised than scared, and it flew into the door (And it made the knocking sound we were hearing) and fell on its back. While it was still dazed I took the card, set it next to the bug and took the picture. I have been wondering what it was. I swear that this thing is the biggest bug in the world! Besides maybe a tarantula. But this thing feeds on them! Well I don’t know for sure, but I think it could.
Elder Collyer
Kisumu Kenya

Giant Water Bug
Giant Water Bug

Dear Elder,
This is a Giant Water Bug in the family Belostomatidae.  In the U.S. they are also known as Electric Light Bugs since they are attracted to lights, and Toe-Biters because of the painful bite.  They are aquatic predators that do not eat tarantulas.  They are adept at flying as well as swimming, but are clumsy on the ground.  They are found around the world and are eaten in Thailand.

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