Currently viewing the category: "Toe Biters and other Aquatic True Bugs"
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Subject: Large African Flying Beetle
Location: Burkina Faso (West Africa)
June 28, 2014 11:38 am
Hey Sir, I am a Marine stationed out here in Africa and saw the weirdest looking beetle outside my house. I have never seen anything like it on discovery channel. The things was huge and aggressive. Not only did it have huge claws to grab stuff with but it fly’s also! It wasn’t even scared of me it actually tried to attack me. I didn’t squish the monster he took off and caught a moth in flight. Hopefully you can help me identify this guy.
Signature: Zachary Staman

Giant Water Bugs

Giant Water Bugs

Hi Zachary,
It is easy to mistake this Giant Water Bug in the family Belostomatidae for a beetle, but closer inspection will reveal that instead of mandibles adapted to chewing like the beetles, the Giant Water Bug has a mouth designed to pierce and suck fluids from its prey, consistent with the mouths of Heteropterans, the True Bugs.  Giant Water Bugs from North America are often called Toe-Biters because unwary waders have frequently received a painful bite if they step on one of these aquatic predators, or otherwise carelessly handle them.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Would like to be informed what this bug is ?
Location: Edmonton Alberta
June 12, 2014 11:36 am
I live in Edmonton Alberta and on a job site in the dirt we found this bug we are all very curious what it is ??
Signature: Thanks bug man !

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

While we cannot make out details, we are quite certain that this is a Giant Water Bug in the family Belostomatidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Beetle I have never seen before
Location: North Western Pennsylvania
May 28, 2014 6:17 am
Bugman the photos I have attached are of a large beetle that I have never encountered. Living on a farm in North western Pennsylvania we see a multitude of insects but nobody in our area has seen on of these, I am hoping you can identify it. The beetle is approx. 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. It flew into the side of our swimming pool and sounded like a baseball it hit so hard. It appears to have multiple sets of wings and looks even larger when in flight. Unfortunately its navigation error ended it’s life.
Signature: Mark

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Hi Mark,
This is not a Beetle, but rather, a Giant Water Bug, commonly called a Toe-Biter.  Giant Water Bugs are aquatic predators that are capable of flying from pond to pond to swimming pool.  The bite of a Toe-Biter is reported to be quite painful, but not dangerous to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange Large Injured Beetle
Location: Northern burbs of Atlanta
May 13, 2014 1:28 pm
Spotted this large fellow last night outside my kids’ karate studio. I’ve never seen anything like it and I’m always on the watch for interesting insects. I’m assuming based on body type, number of legs and what look like two sets of wings this is a type of beetle. The front two legs looked like pincers. He was distressed on his back at first. When I flipped him he hobbled and seemed injured on his back leg. We move him out of the way of over-reacting karate kids and parents and hope he was able to make a recovery. My kids and I would love help identifying this large insect.
Signature: Resa

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Hi Resa,
Commonly called a Toe-Biter, this Giant Water Bug is an aquatic predator, and it is classified as a True Bug, not a Beetle.  Though aquatic, Toe-Biters are capable of flying from location to location, which is helpful when vernal ponds begin to dry out.  Because of your efforts to rescue this impressive creature, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Two inch long horned beetle?
Location: Found in water
May 8, 2014 7:12 pm
I live in West Virginia and I found this bug in my pool. It was 1 1/2 inches to two inches long it had long horn looking things and a very thick hard shell I would love to know what it is I’ve never seen anything like it!
Signature: Annie Faye

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Dear Annie,
Though they are aquatic, we very rarely get reports of Giant Water Bugs or Toe-Biters that are found in the water.  They are also capable of flight and they are attracted to lights, so most encounters occur on the land.  As the common name implies, Toe-Biters should be handled with care as they are capable of delivering a painful bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unknown bug
Location: wigan,uk
April 26, 2014 4:41 am
hi, i would like to know if you could help me identify this bug/insect. it was found in my partners car, 3 weeks before this was found i started getting a lot of bites on my legs. i would really appreciate it if you could please help me to understand what it is as i have 2 children ages 2 and 4. thanks.
Signature: mel furda

Backswimmer

Backswimmer

Dear Mel,
This is a Backswimmer in the family Notonectidae, a group of aquatic insects that are capable of flying from pond to pond.  They are sometimes attracted to lights.  Backswimmers do have a painful bite, and they are sometimes called Water Wasps, but we doubt it is responsible for the bites you have gotten on your legs.  Backswimmers will only bite if threatened, carelessly handled, or accidentally encountered while swimming.  They do not leave the water to attack people.  Look on UK Wildlife for some images of Backswimmers, which get their common name because they do swim on their backs.

Hi Daniel thank you for getting back in touch I can now put my mind to rest. Thanks Mel

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination