Lethocerus americanus are predatory. It feeds on everything aquatic that it can grasp and hold with its powerful forelegs. Insects, tadpoles, salamander, small fish, and snails are on the menu.

Click here to see one of the species that is on L. americanus's menu.

Once a prey is caught, L. americanus uses the forelegs to pierce the prey and tear the tissue apart. It then sucks out the prey’s body fluids with their specialized mouth- the proboscis.

The head of a male hoverfly (Eristalinus taeniops). Photo taken by Alvesgaspar.A proboscis in invertebrate is an elongated structure extended from the head of an animal. It is composed of two tubes and  operated by muscles. The suction is completed by the contraction and expansion of a sac in the head.




L. americanus has a short, pointed rostrum. They can also use it to defense itself by biting the predators (and our toes), giving them intense, burning sensation at the site of the puncture.

Click here to see what a rostrum looks like.