Sometimes bugs seem scary because of their size. Here are some of South Florida’s giants:
Giant Water Bug
Lethocerus griseus, more commonly known as the giant water bug grows to a length of about 2 inches and is found throughout the United States, including Florida. The giant water bug often called a “toe biter,” is one of the largest insects in the United States. It is a predator and eats small fish, tadpoles, snails, insects, and other invertebrates by catching them with its powerful front legs and then injecting them with a toxin to immobilize or kill them. As their name suggests, they live in ponds and swamps and feast on minnows, tadpoles, and other aquatic insects.
Also known as palmetto bugs, these giant cockroaches range from about an inch and a half to just under two inches in length, reddish-brown in color with a yellow band that outlines the area behind their heads. Large and creepy, to make matters worse, American cockroaches are some of the best fliers among roaches with the largest wing-to-body ratio.Able to live inside and outside, American cockroaches have been known to fly at humans, mistaking them for trees.
Florida Keys giant centipede
In the category of greatest body length, the title holder appears to be the Florida Keys giant centipede. A large adult can measure from 7-10 inches long, and is found only in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Collier counties. The Florida Keys giant centipede’s bite can be nasty, so steer clear of these giants. However, the good news about these bugs is that they eat cockroaches and beetles.
Carolina wolf spider
Carolina wolf spiders appear light brown in color, with dark brown patterns on their backs. One of the largest wolf spider species worldwide, female Carolina wolf spiders can measure 2 inches long, including body and leg length. Skilled nocturnal hunters, Carolina wolf spiders live in burrows and track their prey at night. Fast and agile, these spiders are not aggressive but will bite when threatened. Often mistaken for brown recluse spiders, Carolina wolf spider bites are mild with localized pain and swelling, whereas brown recluse spiders can cause tissue damage to their victims’ skin.
Adult giant swallowtails, with a forewing span of 7.4 inches are large, black butterflies with a striking diagonal yellow bar across their forewings. With primarily yellow ventral wings, giant swallowtails appear very distinct from all other swallowtails in Florida, except for the endangered Schaus’ swallowtail, which is confined to the Florida Keys. The exquisite giant swallowtail can be distinguished from the Schaus’ swallowtail by their yellow-filled tails and a small, red patch just inside the blue median band on the ventral hind wing.
What Are The Biggest Bugs Found In Florida in South Florida
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