Giant water bug makes its way to Cyprus

Giant water bug makes its way to Cyprus

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Giant water bug

Giant water bug

The island of Cyprus, though thought-about a hotspot for biodiversity within the Mediterranean (and occupied by Turkey on its northern border), is extra well-known for its stunning sunny coasts than for its insect fauna. Some guests of its extremely populated seashores, with their observations and curiosity, have supplied essential info for a species by no means recorded earlier than on the island: a the enormous water bug, also referred to as a toe biter.

Scientists Michael Hadjiconstantis from the Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of Cyprus, Iakovos Tziortzis from the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus, and Kadir Boğaç Kunt from the Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute collected info and specimens from an rising variety of information of the enormous water bug on the east shoreline of the island in late spring and summer time of 2020 and 2021.

The species, recognized for inhabiting ponds and slowly shifting freshwaters, had by no means been recorded on the island earlier than, though established populations are recognized in adjoining Mediterranean international locations reminiscent of Greece, Turkey, and Israel.

Also known as Electric gentle bug, this large water bug is described as a vicious hunter, praying on invertebrates, fish, turtles, and even birds.

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What is even scarier, as the biggest European true bug and the biggest European water insect and measuring as much as 12 cm, it has a fame of inflicting very painful bites when dealt with carelessly.

Its look, primarily on the japanese coastal entrance of the island, was initially recorded by swimmers, who have been stunned by the fearsome appears to be like and dimension of the bug. They both immediately contacted the consultants or printed pictures and movies on-line, primarily on Facebook teams associated to biodiversity.

The authors collected a few of the specimens for additional research.

They additionally proceeded with an in depth on-line search on related on-line commentary platforms (i.e. iNaturalist) as a way to monitor some other studies of the species on the island.

In addition, they sampled close by wetlands, however didn’t spot the bug.

More about large water bugs

One of essentially the most intriguing options of large water bugs is their predatory prowess. Despite their identify, they aren’t true bugs however somewhat aquatic bugs recognized for his or her voracious urge for food. Armed with piercing mouthparts, they ambush and seize a wide range of prey, together with small fish, amphibians, and even different bugs.

Moreover, large water bugs play a vital position in freshwater ecosystems as high predators, serving to to control populations of smaller organisms and preserve ecological stability. Their presence serves as an indicator of environmental well being, making them essential topics of research for scientists and conservationists alike.

In addition to their ecological significance, large water bugs captivate with their distinctive reproductive habits. Females deposit eggs on the backs of males, who then carry them till they hatch—a exceptional instance of paternal care within the animal kingdom.