Aquatic Pond Insects & Bugs

Updated November 21, 2016

Aquatic ponds are homes to a number of aquatic insect species. Although some are nuisances, many of these insects are considered beneficial because they prey on disease-carrying mosquitoes and their aquatic larvae.

Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies and damselflies have long, thin abdomens, transparent wings, six legs and large protruding eyes. The two species have subtle differences in body structure and carriage. Both species are predators that eat mites and mosquitoes, according to the University of California Museum of Paleontology website. These insects are harmless to humans.

Giant Water Bugs

According to Betty Gray of the AgriLife Extension, giant water bugs are the biggest insects in the United States and Canada. These bugs can grow to be as long as 4 inches. They have brown oval-shaped bodies and look like oversized cockroaches. Giant water bugs eat aquatic insects and animals, including creatures much larger than themselves. Gray warns that their bite is painful.


According to the AgriLife Extension, mayflies range in length from 1/4 inch to 1 inch. Their body colour varies. Juvenile mayflies are aquatic and feed on plant matter until they moult into adults. Adults have no mouth parts and do not feed.

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