What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what the heck is this??
Location: Aransas Pass, Texas
May 4, 2011 11:28 pm
hey i found this bug outside the local Whataburger. I live in Aransas Pass, Texas and the Whataburger is next to a field which gets flooded when it rains (not sure if it was wet at the time but just thought i’d add that in there)
i’ve seen a few of these but only on sidewalks and in the parkinglot of Whataburger.
Signature: Thanks, Tye

Giant Water Bug

Hi Tye,
This is a Giant Water Bug, the largest True Bug in North America.  It is commonly called a Toe-Biter and it is a aquatic predator.  Like all True Bugs, it has piercing and sucking mouthparts that it uses to suck the fluids from its prey, generally small aquatic insects, small fish and tadpoles.  They can bite humans if they are mishandled or accidentally contacted in the water, and many a person has been bitten while playing in ponds and lakes, hence the common name Toe-Biter.  Giant Water Bugs fly quite well and they are also attracted to electric lights.  For that reason they are also commonly called Electric Light Bugs.  We imagine that Whataburger has bright lights in the parking lot.  That along with the flooded field probably explains its appearance.  Toe-Biters, because of their large size and unusual appearance, are one of our most common identification requests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Texas
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2 Responses to Toe-Biter

  1. AMY GRAY says:

    IFOUND AND CAPTURED ONE OF THESE BIG BUGS OUTSIDE MY HOME IN WASHINGTON STATE(ALONG THE SOUTHERN COAST)AND DIDNT KNOW WHAT IT WAS AND NEVER SEEN ONE BEFORE.

    • bugman says:

      We hope your appreciation of the natural world has been increased now that you have learned something about Toe-Biters.

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