Giant water bug - Lethocerus spp.

zimbu

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
141
Hi, first of all, I've been lurking on these forums for a few weeks and I just wanted to say they're an absolute wealth of information, all of you guys rock.

I live up in Ontario, Canada, and over the weekend I was camping in Algonquin park and managed to catch what I'm pretty sure is a Lethocerus (I'm at work now, I'll be able to confirm this when I get home tonight).

I searched and read the threads on this board concerning these guys, but I still have a few questions, and I was wondering if any of you could help clear them up for me..

1) When I was bringing it home from the park, the water it was in warmed up substantially and it started spasming and could not swim, so I dumped out the water so it did'nt drown, hoping it would at least survive until I could get it back in some cool water. When I got home cool water almost instantly revived it.

Would it be possible to acclimate it to warmer (indoor) temperatures? Because currently it's sitting in a jar which is floating in the middle of a pond in my backyard, not an ideal setup.

2) I tried offering it earthworms (as well as anything else I found during the camping trip) to eat, it snapped at one of them once with it's front legs, but didn't make a move after that. Do these need to eat very often? It's been 3 nights since I caught it, and I'm not sure if it's simply not hungry, stressed, or if it won't eat food that isn't from its native habitat. Today I'm going to pick up some crickets for the rest of my animals and try those, as well as a few feeder guppies. Has anyone else had problems feeding wild caught water bugs? Do they eat better during the day? at night? Should I just leave a few fish in it's enclosure over night?

Anyway, any advice/input at all would be much appreciated, thanks everyone!
 

TNeal

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
211
They hunt in the water, not on dry land. They prey on small fish and other aquatic insects. Water at room temperature should be fine.

Tom
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
141
water at about room temperature was what sent it into spams last time, of course room temperature around here right now is upwards of 25 degrees C...

and I know they eat in the water, dont worry. It was perched on the underside of a branch I'd put in the jar for it and I was dangling the worm in front of it.
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
25 degrees C is indeed too warm. My experience with Abedus spp. suggests they don't need to eat too often, so no worries.

I caught a water bug when I was little (don't remember which genus it was) and offered it an earthworm. It seemed to enjoy it.
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
141
allright cool, I'll make sure to keep it outdoors until the fall then.

this one doesn't seem to like earthworms but it was ok with a cricket I gave it, so I'll just go with that.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
498
Keep a lid on the container, they can fly. The bite is pretty bad and will get infected, so don't stick your fingers in there. It will grab at anything, literally. Even a pen if you wave it around in front of it. Feeder fish are great, and cheap, so feed it that.

I used to have one, until it died. But of course, It wasn't dead, so I flushed it down the toilet... they play dead really REALLY well, so I found out afterwards.
 

Black Widow88

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
574
Yeah these things are the spawn of the devil....Don't mess with them!

Black Widow88
 
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