Lethocerus americanus is an insect of the order Hemiptera or true bugs. These "true bugs" are classified due to the existence of a leathery basal part and membranous apical portion of the forewings. This species falls into the suborder of true bugs Heteroptera and the infraorder Nepomorpha which identifies them as true bugs that live in aquatic environments. Nepomorpha can be distinguished from Heteroptera by the absence of vestigial ocelli. Lethocerus americanus exists within the family Belostomatidae which indicates that the insect is a "Giant Water Bug." This family of water bugs generally reaches sizes of over 2 cm and can also be distinguished by the habit of female water bugs laying their eggs upon a male water bugs back for protection. The genus of this insect is Lethocerus, which indicates that they are the largest specimens of   the Belostomatidae family as they can grow up to over 11 cm in length. They also differ from Belostomatidae by their egg laying habits seeing as they prefer to lay their eggs on vegetation near waters edge in order to protect their young from predation via the water. Lethocerus americanus is the largest species of its kind.


 Animalia - Arthropoda - Insecta - Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)- Heteroptera (True Bugs)- Nepomorpha (Aquatic Bugs)- Nepoidea - Belostomatidae(Giant Water Bugs)-Lethocerus - americanus (Giant Water Bug)

(Leidy, 1847)