Wham-banging Electric-light Bugs

I made several fun observations and discoveries today.  These included an 8-foot alligator, a 4-foot alligator, a Great Blue Heron, some flowering cypress vine plants, some squirrel-gnawed hickory nuts, and some “wham-banging electric light bugs”.



At one small lakeside cove location (2-3 acres in size) I saw literally thousands of what appeared to be water boatman bugs swimming on the water surface.  Mentally grouping the bugs into an area approximately 100 feet wide and 50 feet long, I took some photos to document the overall mass of bugs and the numbers of bugs in a smaller area.  With an estimated conservative average of 2 to 3 bugs per square foot (probable range of from 1 to 5 bugs per square foot, or more), approximately 10,000 to 15,000 water boatmen bugs were present.  That’s a lot of water boatmen for one location.


An additional treat for the day was finding Ms Elsie B. Klots’ book in my library (Klots, E. B. 1966.  The New Book of Freshwater Life.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York.  398 pp.).  According to Ms Klots, some species of the Belostomatidae Family of Giant Water Bugs “… are sometimes called “electric light bugs” because of the frequency with which they come wham-banging into lights at night.”


IMG_6443 - PS-1

Whether the bugs that I saw were Giant Water Bugs (i.e., the large Electric-light Bug, Lethocerus americanus) or were actually water boatmen (possibly Corixidae), I guess I’ll have to re-visit the area at night to see the “wham-banging” for myself. 


Also, I have clearly discovered a delightful book to read.


Row, row, row your boat.

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