Most of us put an insect, or the impression of one, on the end of our fishing line hoping a fish will eat it. Turns out there is an insect out there that does just the opposite.
Lethocerus patruelis, an enormous European water insect, makes small fish its dinner! At its largest the insect measures more than 3 inches long, and belongs to the family of insects that are commonly known as light bugs.
Their bite is considered one of the most painful to humans, but it doesn’t have any harmful medical effects.
These bugs are big enough to capture and devour small crustaceans, fish and amphibians. There have even been some reports of the insects eating turtles and snakes. When they attack, the aquatic bugs inject caustic digestive saliva into their prey, liquefying their meal from the inside before they suck out the contents.
Lethocerus patruelis is found throughout the Balkan Peninsula, Anatolia, and parts of the Middle East. Researchers captured a video while studying the male reproductive system of the species. Their findings were published in the journal ZooKeys. Check out the video here.