Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

+ Species Lists
+ Identification/Keys

Belostomatidae - Giant Water Bugs or Electric Light Bugs

Five species in three genera are recorded from Michigan.

Species denoted in bold blue have been recorded from Michigan, based on literature records, examined museum specimens or personal collection. Species in normal font are likely to be found in Michigan, based on the species known range. Species denoted with " • " are synonomized with species list directly above it.

Benacus Stål, 1861 (Subfamily Lethocerinae)

Benacus griseus (Say), 1832 Belostoma
  • Belostoma haldemanum Leidy, 1847
  • Belostoma harpax Stål, 1855
  • Belostoma angustatum Guérin, 1856
  • Belostoma distinctum Dufour, 1862

Belostoma Latreille 1807 (Subfamily Belostomatinae)

Belostoma flumineum Say, 1832
   • Perthostoma auranticum Leidy, 1847
   • Zaitha fluminea Dufour, 1847
   • Zaitha fusciventris Townsend, 1863
   • Belostoma bakeri Ellis, 1952
Belostoma lutarium (Stål) 1855, Zaitha
   • Zaitha aurantiaca Uhler, 1886
   • Belostoma aurantiacum Torre-Bueno and Brimley, 1907

Lethocerus Mayr, 1853 (Subfamily Lethocerinae)

Lethocerus (Lethocerus) americanus (Leidy), 1847 Belostoma
  • Belostoma grandis var. americanum Leidy, 1847
  • Belostoma impressum Haldeman, 1854
  • Belostoma griseum Stål, 1861, and Mayr 1871
  • Belostoma litigiosum Dufour, 1863
Belostoma obscurum Dufour, 1863
  • Belostoma americanum Snow, 1906
  • Benacus griseum Howard, 1907
  • Lethocerus obscurus Torre-Bueno, 1908
Lethocerus (Lethocerus) uhleri (Montandon), 1896 Belostoma
  • Amorgius (Montandonista) uhleri Torre-Bueno and Brimley, 1907
  • Amorgius uhleri Van Duzee, 1909


Perez Goodwyn PJ. 2006. Taxonomic revision of the subfamily Lethocerinae Lauck & Menke (Heteroptera: Belostomatidae). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie A (Biologie) 695:1-71.
Lauck DR. 1964.
A monograph of the genus Belostoma (Hemiptera). Part III. B. Triangulum, bergi, minor, bifoveolatum and flumineum groups. The Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences 11(5):102-154.
Menke AS. 1963. A review of the genus Lethocerus in North and Central America, including the West Indies (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 56:261-267.
Polhemus JT, Polhemus DA, Henry TJ. 1988. Family Belostomatidae Leach, 1815. The Giant Water Bugs or Electric Light Bugs, pp. 47-55 in Henry TJ, Froeschner RC. (eds.). 1988. Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs, of Canada and the Continental United States. E. J. Brill: Leiden.  958 + xix.

Page created: October 31, 2002 - Last updated: August 5, 2011 (EB)