Currently viewing the category: "Toe Biters and other Aquatic True Bugs"
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Subject: Hola from Buenos Aires!
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
August 22, 2015 2:30 am
My son sent me this picture of a beetle he found on his way home from work lat night. He lives in Olivos, which is a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He couldn’t identify it, but we offered a guess that it was some type of cicada. Do you guys agree with our assessment?
Thanks!
Signature: Rich Williams

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

Dear Rich,
This is NOT a beetle or a Cicada.  It is a Giant Water Bug, an aquatic True Bug that is also capable of flying.  They are frequently attracted to lights and in North America they are sometimes called Electric Light Bugs, but more commonly they are called Toe-Biters because waders are sometimes surprised by a painful bite if they step on them in shallow water.  Giant Water Bugs are aquatic predators with mouths designed to pierce the prey and suck the fluids from the body.  Though painful to humans, the bite is not considered dangerous.

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Subject: What is this?
Location: Central Oklahoma
August 13, 2015 6:06 am
I found this at work. I live in central Oklahoma. It is slightly over 3″ long, moves very quickly, and uses its antenna looking things to help it walk. The pointed thing on its rear appears to retract when it runs.
Signature: F. Black

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

Dear F. Black,
This is a Giant Water Bug, commonly called a Toe-Biter, and it is an aquatic predator capable of flying from pond to pond.  They are attracted to light, which might explain why you found it at work.  Like other True Bugs, their mouths are adapted to pierce and suck fluids from the bodies of their prey, and they are reported to deliver a painful, but not dangerous bite, if carelessly handled or accidentally encountered while swimming or wading.

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Subject: please help me identify this bug
Location: near austin Texas
July 4, 2015 1:36 pm
I found this bug swimming in my pool before i was going to clean it. Whatever is on its back looks interesting and im not sure how to identify it. I saw it swimming for a while then it nestled on the bottom of the pool. When i nudged it with a small stick to see if it was still alive it was not. So i carefully took it out and captured a picture of it. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
Signature: From Troy Godwin

Male Giant Water Bug with Eggs

Male Giant Water Bug with Eggs

Dear Troy,
This is a male Giant Water Bug in the genus
Belostoma.  After mating, the female cements the eggs onto the back of the male who then guards them until they hatch.  This is one of the very few examples from the insect world where the male plays any part in the care of the young.  You can verify our identification by viewing this image from BugGuide.

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Subject: Water scorpion
Location: college station TX
June 5, 2015 9:05 am
This guy was found drifting in the pool I scooped him out and put him in some freshwater and was gonna release him the next day in a proper area rather than a salt water pool. He died the next day I keep it as a specimen. I plan on keeping a toe biter until it reaches full growth.
Signature: -Tay

Water Scorpion

Water Scorpion

Dear Tay,
Water Scorpions and their aquatic True Bug relatives the Toe-Biters, are amazing creatures.  As they are predators that will bite if carelessly handled, one should use caution.  We will be postdating your submission to go live to our site next week while we are out of the office.

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Subject: Stick insect like thing
Location: Pond, England, Surrey ,Guildford
April 25, 2015 2:25 am
I was wondering if you could help me with a discovery that I found in my pond. I was clearing out duck weed when I found what I can only describe as a stick insect running across the water. It is about 2cm long and it has 6 legs and 2 antennae on a long thin body.
I have searched lots and lots of websites but I still cannot find out what it is.
Signature: From katie wright age 12

Water Scorpion

Water Strider or Water Scorpion???

Dear Katie,
This is a predatory, aquatic True Bug, and at first we thought it was in the family Nepidae whose members are commonly called Water Scorpions as they will deliver a painful, though not dangerous bite if they are carelessly handled.  When we reread your submission, we realized you stated it was  “running across the water.”  We apologize for the error, but since it was on top of the water, it is more likely a Water Strider in the family Gerridae.  We wish your images had greater detail.

Correction:  Water Measurer
Thanks to a comment we received, we now know that this is a Water Measurer in the family Hydrometridae and we learned on BugGuide that they are found “on emergent/floating vegetation along edges of ponds, marshes, and pools of slow-moving streams”
and that they feed upon “newly emerged, slow-moving, dying, or dead invertebrates (midges, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, ostracods, springtails, etc.)”  BioImages UK has some nice images.

Thank you sooooooo much I am really really pleased that you found out what it was. I can’t believe how good you were at identifying. If someone ever poses a question like that to me I will definately recommend you. I will ask my mum if I can make a donation

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Subject: Big bug
Location: Northern WV on the Ohio Valley
April 19, 2015 7:58 am
This morning I rescued this bug out of my pool. It is about 2.5 inches long and looks pretty scarey. It looks like it has wings. I live in WV and we are just starting to warm up for spring. I have never seen a bug like this before.
Signature: David

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Hi David,
This aquatic, predatory True Bug is commonly called a Toe-Biter.  Handle with caution as the bite, though not dangerous, is reported to be quite painful

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