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water bug,name for a large number of water-living bugsbug,
common name correctly applied to insects belonging to the order Hemiptera, although members of the order Homoptera (e.g., mealybug) are sometimes referred to as bugs, as are other insects in general.
..... Click the link for more information. , comprising several families of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). All have jointed, sharp, sucking beaks, breathe air, and undergo gradual metamorphosis (see insectinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
..... Click the link for more information. ). They are found on or below the surface of almost all quiet streams and ponds; a few forms live in rapidly flowing water. The water boatmen (family Corixidae) are abundant in lakes and ponds throughout most of the world. They are ovalbodied, with flattened, oarlike hind legs used for propulsion; the short front legs are used for gathering food and for anchoring the bug to aquatic vegetation. Water boatmen store air in a concavity beneath the wings and are thus able to remain submerged for long periods. They feed on algae and other small aquatic organisms and, unlike the predaceous water bugs, do not bite humans. The other water bugs are carnivorous and prey, according to their size, on young fishes, snails, crustaceans, and the adults and larvae of other insects. The backswimmersbackswimmer,
common name for water bugs of the cosmopolitan family Notonectidae, so named because they swim upside down, usually near the surface of the water. They have oval bodies and long, oarlike hind legs, with which they swim rapidly, but their backs are more convex than
..... Click the link for more information. (family Notonectidae) resemble the water boatmen in appearance, but swim upside down. The water striders, or water skaters (family Gerridae), have two pairs of long, slender legs that enable them to move over the surface film of quiet waters, where they often congregate in large numbers. They also have a pair of short, grasping forelegs, used for catching insects on the surface. All live in freshwater except those of the genus Halobates, which are found in oceans. The giant water bugs (family Belostomatidae), with wide, flat bodies and grasping forelegs, are the world's largest bugs and among the largest of the insects. Members of some North American species grow 2 in. (5 cm) long, while one South American form attains a length of more than 4 in. (10 cm). Their prey can include small fish, frogs, snakes, and turtles. They fly well and are attracted to lights at night, hence their other common name, electric-light bug. In some species the female glues her eggs to the back of the male, where they remain until they hatch. The water scorpions (family Nepidae) are named for the breathing tube that protrudes from the rear of the abdomen. There are several other water bug families. The term water bug is also sometimes applied to the various water beetleswater beetle,
name for aquatic beetles of several families. They should not be confused with water bugs, which are true bugs (order Hemiptera). The predaceous diving beetles (family Dytiscidae) are a large group, widespread in quiet streams and ponds.
..... Click the link for more information. . True water bugs are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
..... Click the link for more information. , class Insecta, order Hemiptera.
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water bug[′wȯd·ər ‚bəg]
Any insect which lives in an aquatic habitat during all phases of its life history.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.