What do predators eat in wetlands

Giant bugs eat turtles, ducklings and poisonous snakes

The newly hatched larvae, which remain in this stage of development for up to 60 days, must be just as daring as their parents. In most species, they hatch at a time when only a few small prey are available. Therefore, they have no choice but to hunt seemingly superior prey, such as tadpoles and small fish.

The larvae have long, curved front legs that help them grip their prey better, Ohba explains.

Nonetheless, giant bugs also have predators and often fall prey to larger fish, ducks and possibly raccoons and turtles, Swart adds. In Southeast Asia, they are also eaten fried or boiled in some places.

Big insect with a big impact

As scary as the idea of ​​predatory giant bugs may sound to some, they are among the most important hunters of their ecosystem and thus play a key role in its preservation.

But water pollution can damage their populations, as can invasive species like crayfish and bullfrogs.

That means scientists should advocate clean waters free of neozoa in order to preserve this important species, as Ohba thinks.

"By protecting giant bugs, we can preserve entire ecosystems."

The article was originally published in English on NationalGeographic.com.