Currently viewing the category: "Toe Biters and other Aquatic True Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify this bug
Location: Kalamazoo Michigan united States of America
April 17, 2016 10:43 pm
Found this bug on top of a parking garage. Figure its a beetle but i have never seen one so big before. If i could get a reply asap on the specific type it is and where it originates and maybe its diet i would be much appreciated. And if its dangerous.
Thank you for your time.
Signature: Troy Root

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Dear Troy,
This is a Toe-Biter, a predatory, aquatic True Bug.  It is not a beetle.  It will prey on aquatic insects, and it is also capable of capturing small fish and tadpoles.  Though they might bite if carelessly handled or if encountered while wading in fresh water ponds, the bite is not considered dangerous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug
Location: Seattle
April 12, 2016 8:45 pm
Seen this bug 3 places 3 different times in last 2 weeks
Signature: Will

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Dear Will,
The Toe-Biter is an aquatic predator that is capable of flying from pond to pond, which helps during years of drought.  The Toe-Biter should be handled with caution as it is reported to have a painful, but not dangerous bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this big insect
Location: Oman
March 27, 2016 1:26 pm
What is this big insect
Signature: Ahmed

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

Dear Ahmed,
This is a Giant Water Bug in the family Belostomatidae.  This is an aquatic predator that can also fly.  They are reported to give a painful bite if carelessly handled or accidentally encountered in still waters.  In North America, they are called Toe-Biters and swimmers and waders should exercise caution to avoid a painful, but not dangerous bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please help identify
Location: Kingsland, Tx
March 17, 2016 8:13 pm
My daughter scooped this out of our pond thinking she was rescuing a walking stick. Her sister came to get me to see it saying it had red wings under the black back covers (her words). When I got there, I took this picture and told them it was not a walking stick and before I could take another look it flew away!
Signature: Luckyclucks

Water Scorpion

Water Scorpion

Dear Luckyclucks,
Though we are aware that the common name Toe-Biter can be applied to your submission, we prefer the common name Water Scorpion for this aquatic predator so as not to confuse it with the Giant Water Bug.  Either should be handled with caution as they are capable of biting and the bite is reported to be painful, but not dangerous.

Thank you! Good thing my girls are gentle with wildlife.  A good reminder to use caution with unknown wildlife.
We found a giant water bug carcass a couple of weeks ago and were so excited to have the specimen!
Love your site and refer to it often!
Warmly,
~Lindsay

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this demon
Location: Newcastle, NSW Australia.
March 18, 2016 1:31 am
This huge bug was found and after taking a beating from a broom was still alive. It was greyish in colour on the back and a lot bigger but unfortunately after a degreaser bath seemed to shrink a little and change colour.
Signature: I need an exorcist!

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Giant Water Bugs like the one you “degreased” are commonly called Toe-Biters in North America.  According to the Australian Museum, other common names include Electric Light Bug and Giant Fishkiller.  A Queensland Museum pdf fact-sheet-water-bugs-water-scorpions indicates it is the largest true bug in Australia and that Toe-Biter is also an acceptable name down under.   Wannabee Entomologist has a fun posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is it a water scorpion?
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
February 19, 2016 5:24 am
Hello
So my Kindergarten group and I have decided to embark on an investigation of various bugs and insects I our area. One of the little cherubs have brought this one inand want to make it our class pet. Can you please identify it for me and give us some information that I can follow up on with them. Most importantly, where’s the best place for me to now release it?
Signature: Bugman

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

Though it is not a Water Scorpion, your Giant Water Bug, like a Water Scorpion, is an aquatic, predatory True Bug.  According to the Australian Museum:  “These bugs are formidable underwater predators. When hunting, Giant Water Bugs breathe using a syphon at their rear end which acts like a snorkel.”  Since they are aquatic, the best place to release it is a clean body of fresh water like a lake or pond.  You can also request that your “little cherub” return it back to from whence it came when it comes time to release your pet.  While it is a pet, you should keep it in a covered aquarium as it can fly.  Since it is a predator, it will need live food.  Though they would not normally comprise its aquatic prey, it will most likely feed on crickets from the pet store.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination