Although names like assassin bug and waterscorpion are composed of familiar words, the actual animals they describe are not readily visualized by the general public. These unique creatures are members of a stunning and diverse group of nymphal insects known as true bugs. Giant water bugs can be as large as a man's hand, big enough to readily dispatch fish, snakes, and small turtles in the wild. Large assassin bugs kill and eat massive armored beetles that the world's largest scorpion, tarantula, or centipede would run from. Beautiful metallic shield bugs band together to take down prey a thousand times their mass without the use of venom or jaws. Others species hunt on the open ocean or feed on plants, reserving their spines and vicious attacks for battle over mates. Despite such endearing qualities of this widespread and common group, the only impressive aspect of true bug literature is its intense insufficiency. Even common laboratory species generate little writing. This book is the first and foremost attempt to provide a large format presentation on the biology of true bugs, represented in direct observations and repeatable husbandry guidelines for the largest and most formidable species. A full-color, pictorial essay accompanies this detailed text, highlighting the variety and design of this breathtaking group of insects.
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