Big Scary Beetle!!
August 6, 2011 8:04 am
We were out looking at a car last night, and saw this big ugly bug on the lot. It flies. And has freakishly large pincers/legs. WHAT IS THIS THING??
We hope you picked out a nice fuel efficient vehicle. This is not a Beetle. It is a Giant Water Bug, a True Bug. As its name implies, it is an aquatic species, and we are surprised that you have not encountered one before since you live in the “land of a 1000 lakes” which we suspect is prime habitat for this large predator. Giant Water Bugs are also excellent fliers, and they are attracted to strong lights. Often great numbers congregate in well lighted parking lots and at nighttime sporting events, owing to another common name, Electric Light Bug. Our favorite common name, Toe-Biter, is attributed to the their habit of biting unwary swimmers, especially in ponds and lakes. The bite of a Toe-Biter is reported to be quite painful. Though they are not a venomous species, they inject enzymes for the digestion of prey when they bite that causes pain and swelling. They are not blood suckers, and they only bite humans out of defense. Their typical prey includes aquatic insects, tadpoles and small fish which they capture with their raptorial forelegs.