Male Giant Water Bug with Eggs

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

Male Giant Water Bug with Eggs

Hi Mary,
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!

2 thoughts on “Male Giant Water Bug with Eggs”

  1. I just came across one of these at Mission Creek, Ca. About 15 minutes from Palm Springs. I observed it repeatedly lifting its rear out of the water where he was partially submerged, abpnd blowing air out of his butt(?) . The water he was in was pretty fast moving and he had a really hard time staying right side up. Seemed a bit top heavy. I also watched as one of the eggs seemed to be hatching. There was a white, kind of feathery looking larvae (?) emerging but very slowly. I watched for about 15 minutes and it only emerged about 1/4 the length of the egg. I did bring an egg home with me that had fallen off. Weird bug. Ive hiked that creek for many years and have never seen or heard of it.

  2. Hi ! I wasnt able to edit my comment to explain that he had a hard time keeping his feet when he was caught in the current after i accidently knocked him loose . I thought he was a piece of styrofoam and picked him up to throw it away .


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