lethocerus cordofanus (Giant water bug)
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia
I keep them at room temperature but in a warm spot of around 27c.
I used water from my garden pond and put into a 3 ft fish tank , to around 20-30 cm deep , I placed fake water plants connected to stone ornaments , one at each end so the tops were out of the water. I choose to add a very small water filter and placed it so it was laying on its back , this only made a very small amount of water movement and helped clean the water . Then I added lots of duck weed , shrimp, snails, water lice , and stickle backs from my pond.
I placed both Male and female in together. Them I placed a light over the top.
Please note these are good flyers so a good lid is needed.
Once a week I take out a jag of water and replace it with fresh from my pond , I also remove any dead fish I could see.
They feed by grabbing their food and using their rostrum then injecting a venomous saliva which turns the inside to a liquid. The seem to eat anything that moves including the snails. But will also eat anything that has died.
6 weeks after adding my pair together , I spotted eggs on the back of my Male. They are large and very visible. The female died after 2 weeks of laying the eggs , and the Male then ate her, but I’m told this is normal. 3 weeks later the eggs started to hatch.
They are around 11/2 to 2 cm long slightly clear but darken up a bit over a few hours.
For now I’ve put each baby in a separate tub to start with with this is around 20 cm square but tall, I’ve added 10 cm of water and 1 fake plant and lots of shrimps , I will change the water every week and move up to bigger sizes as they grow.
I will add more to this care sheet as I go along with the babies.