|Geographical Range||Southwestern United States and Mexico|
|Habitat||Slow-moving streams and ponds|
|Scientific Name||Abedus spp.|
|Conservation Status||Not listed by IUCN|
The name says it all, especially if you're a victim of this insect's hunting behavior. The ferocious water bug is a fierce predator. It lurks on the muddy bottoms of ponds and slow-moving streams, ready to grab aquatic insects and small fish with its powerful, hooked front legs. And since it is the largest of the true bugs, it's big enough to eat tadpoles and salamanders!
Like all giant water bugs, this species has flattened hind legs and a wide, flat body -- adaptations for swimming underwater. When it needs to breathe, it rises to the surface, where it sticks out breathing tubes for air.
The ferocious water bug has a unique reproductive behavior. When a female lays her eggs, she cements them to the male. Then he carries them until they hatch.