What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: beetle?
Location: thassos, greece
May 20, 2013 12:27 am
Hi, we found it on the beach , I ’ve never seen so big insect around, can you determine it?
Signature: george

Giant Water Bug

Hi George,
This is a Giant Water Bug in the family Belostomatidae.  They are predatory aquatic insects that are also capable of flight when their habitat dries up.
  Giant Water Bugs are commonly called Toe-Biters in North America, because although they are not aggressive toward humans, they will give a painful bite if carelessly handled or accidentally encountered.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Thassos, Greece

12 Responses to Giant Water Bug from Greece

  1. Daniel Jestrzemski says:

    Dear George, Dear Bugman,
    I am very much interested in giant water bugs (Lethocerus sp.) and their distribution and ecology worldwide. I was quite stunned that they actually do occur in Southern Europe. From my knowledge this European species is Lethocerus patruelis and it can get very big. Could you tell me the body length of this Greek water bug (in mm), and how big was the biggest one that you have seen in Greece or elsewhere in Europe? Thanks for any info 🙂 !

    • bugman says:

      Hi Daniel,
      We don’t know if George will know that you have posted a comment to his submission. This isn’t too old of a posting. We might be able to track down George’s email address and notify him that you have a question regarding his submission.

  2. Kate Black says:

    Just found one on my balcony this evening. I had never seen one before and thankfully wasn’t hard to identify after a quick google search. The one I found was about 2.5″ long. Kefalonia, Greece.

  3. George says:

    There are also found in a village called Koufalia in Central Macedonia, Greece. I have encountered many of them and have taken a lots of pictures….

  4. Annemieke van den Belt says:

    I recently returned from Ouranoupoli, Athos, Chalkidiki, and found one on the border beach of Mount Athos (the monastery state). It was about 10-11 cm long and struggling on it’s back, covered in sand, trying to get away from the sea waves. I cleaned it with some sweet water and when it was dry again it flew away. If you are interested I can send photo’s and movies.

  5. Richard Turner says:

    for : Dr Stam Zorgaris; Stam blog of 2018 asked if anyone had seen these giant water bugs in Greece.
    Yes: May 2019 in Corfu – west side – on the beach between the sea and lake Korission.
    Alas no camera with me, I had never seen a beetle that big (body = 3 inches / 7.5 cms) so looked it up, definitely a giant water bug.
    Richard Turner UK.

  6. David says:

    We found one of these Lethocerus beetles in Kuşadası Turkey – on the Adriatic Coast.
    It was dead unfortunately but we took it home to show my son.
    It wasn’t near water but in some foliage on the side of the road.
    It’s length is 9cms.

  7. IVAN c RANKENBURG says:

    We found one, 10cm, in lefkada Greece, southern coast, swimming at the beach. It was very alive, and clung to a bathing suit, of a baby. It was terrifying.

  8. Maria Corsini-Foka says:

    Dear What’s that bug,
    I am writing a paper on water bug from Greece. Please, let me know how can I cite correctly some information on its findings I have found in the present site: https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2013/05/20/giant-water-bug-from-greece/
    Thank you very much in advance for for your kind reply,
    Maria Corsini-Foka
    Hellenic Centre for Marine Research

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