Well over a month ago one of my favorite students, sweet, quiet 3 year old little Millie brought the nastiest bug I had ever saw. It had been discovered in their garage that very morning and her mom bravely captured it. No one was sure what it was, but one adult thought it was a harmless tree cockroach. It looked familiar to me though, but couldn't place it, other than it looking very cockroach like.
Since we had studied insects for a good portion of the year and recently concluded we decided to bring it home to examine more closely upon it's death - but it never died! To make a long story short we still have the beast and discovered he is a Giant Water Bug, or "Toe Biter" which is quite a nasty biting creature that will eat everything from insects and small fish to small animals that it can tackle. Gabriella (my budding entomologist) has enjoyed feeding it grasshoppers and goldfish, and the kids all are amazed to watch it kill and eat it's prey. I on the other hand cannot stomach it.
Turns out this guy can live up to 2 years! Not sure if we can go that long or not - some family members have expressed fear of being in a room alone with it at night. (Friends of ours beg us not to set it free once we tire of him, but to destroy him in an effort to protect the children and small pets in the area in case he should fly off with one.) We do have to be careful with him since he can deliver a very, very nasty bite.
Our little buddy is currently in a small, portable aquarium with a tight lid (since he can fly as well as swim). He sits in a place of honor in our main living room area to be noticed by all throughtout the day - we did move him out of the kitchen area, don't worry! Gabriella insists he needs a home upgrade though - I personally think his petite tank with a purple lid and pink gravel is hilarious since he is so absolutely UGLY swimming about in his girly paradise... but oh well. She wants to try to give him snails next.... friends or food - we'll find out...ewwww.