Science

The VAMPIRE water bugs that eat their prey alive: Tiny four-inch killer insects devour fish, frogs, turtles and even snakes by sucking them to death from the inside out

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, research from a Japanese scientist has revealed how giant water bugs can eat prey as large as ten times their own size.

The new study compiles a decade’s worth of research into the fearsome insects, which have been known to take on everything from ducklings to venomous snakes.

Researchers have previously reported observing one of the monstrous bugs even eating a small turtle.

Giant water bugs clamp their victims in their strong front legs before injecting them with digestive juices that break them down from the inside out.

The insects then suck out their prey’s dissolving insides through their straw-like mouths.

Entomologist Shin-ya Ohba of Japan’s Nagasaki University is behind the new study, which contains a comprehensive review of all we know about giant water bugs and their lifestyles.

Professor Ohba has had an almost life-long fascination with the insects, having been captivated since first laying eyes on one in a pet store at the age of seven.

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