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Giant Water Beetle.


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Hey guys,

I found this little guy in a parking lot. I couldn't resist poking at him. Turns out he was alive, and not dead, like I previously thought.

So of course I had to bring him home. I've never seen one of these guys before. So I immediately did a bit of reading, and got him set up in 5 gallow, tight fitting lid, good filter, and some leaves/banches and a piece of cork bark for him.

He's doing awesome. Ive had him for about 2 weeks now. He eats great. Loves crickets. Going to try a fish soon..

My question is though, I tried to take some nice action pictures of him eating. And when they were up on my computer, I noticed that he has all these tiny little pink things on his head and back. Almost looks like tiny pink grains of rice attatched to him.

Does anyone know what they are? Are they a type of parasite? If so, Can I just pull them off him?

Any help would be awesome.

Thanks.

Cassandra.

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Very cool! :D I would do some research on whether the creatures are cleaning him or parisitizing him, before going all out. On the other hand, being that he is in good water conditions and clean in his new home, It probably wouldn't hurt to TRY to get them off with a q-tip. If you are not comfortable handling him to do this, then use some tongs that are foam tipped, or wrap cloth or rubber bands around the tongs so you can grasp him without damaging him during the process. ;)

It sure would be nice to know what those creatures are.

Please keep me posted on how it goes, no matter how you decide to go about it. :)

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Well, I won't try and pull them off until I know they are bad.

When I found him, he was all dry, and it was a cold day, so he barely moved. Then when I got him home I plopped him into some room tempature water, and he slowly came back to life. He has been a very interesting bug to watch. He sits motionless at 45 degree angle most of the time. And I have been tong feeding him crickets every couple of days. I have no idea how often he should be eating.. I keep him in my Reptile Room, so its pretty warm in there, so I figure his metabolism will be a bit quicker than if he was outside right now.. since it is still fairly cold outside here. He is voracious. He will grab onto the cricket and the tongs. When I fed him today, it took almost 5 full minutes to get the tongs away from him. Hes got a death grip with those front arms.

He swims around at night usually, and during the day he sits motionless. I have actually seen him sit out on the cork bark too, and dry out completely. Hes a very neat insect for sure.

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That's actually not a beetle, but a Giant Water Bug (Order Hemiptera, family Belostomatidae), probably Lethocerus americanus. You can also feed it feeder goldfish. Just put them in the tank and it will catch them itself.

The parasites are most likely the larvae of water mites. They probably won't kill the water bug, but they are in fact feeding on it, so it would probably be a good idea to remove them. Just be careful, Belostomatids have a nasty bite.

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I don't want to feed it Goldfish, because they don't usually make the best feeders most things. I was thinking of tossing some Guppies or minnows in there.

What would be the best way to remove them? Q-tip? Tongs? I just don't want to hurt him while I try and remove the parasites.

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