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

Subject:  very large bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Date: 09/10/2018
Time: 10:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My wife found this 9-10 cm big bug in an arroyo 2 days ago and we wanted to know what it is because my brother-in-law claims that it is very poisonous. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Michael Patrick

Toe-Biter

Dear Michael,
This is a Giant Water Bug in the family Belostomatidae and there are similar looking individuals found all over the world.  Commonly called Toe-Biters in North America because of the painful bite they are able to inflict on bathers and waders in freshwater bodies of water, Giant Water Bugs are not considered poisonous, however, they do inject saliva that can cause a reaction in some people.  According to Research Gate:  “These insects have toxic saliva capable of provoking intense pain and paralysis in vertebrates. Victims experienced intense, excruciating pain and 1 manifested hypoesthesia in the forearm. Bites by Belostomatidae are often reported by clinicians working in areas where these insects live, but there are no detailed case reports in the medical literature. ”  According to Pest Wiki:  “Water bugs are referred to as Toe biters because they do bite.Water bugs are harmless to humans.They don’t seek for people to go and bite them up.Water bugs bite is considered to be most harmful and painful.They bite on rare occasions when we get scared, or they get terrified. Usually, there are initial symptoms, but rarely they may cause life-threatening allergic reactions.”

Wow that was a very complete and useful description! Thank you so much.
I will recommend your website to everyone!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  odd creature found in Thailand
Geographic location of the bug:  Bangkok suburbs, Thailand
Date: 09/01/2018
Time: 12:45 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This thing was in a swimming pool. Didn’t look to be struggling. I took it out and it sat on the side of the pool. I took some photos and a few minutes later I couldn’t find it. As you can see it has 4 legs, no wings, two large eyes and quite a long tail.
How you want your letter signed:  Alex Slater

Water Scorpion

Dear Alex,
This is a predatory Water Scorpion, and the common name is a reference to its painful bite.  Water Scorpions are also capable of flying.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big fly looking bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Minnesota State fair 2018
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 08:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Mr/Ms  Bug person .
I was walking to my car and  tripped over this Hugh bug. I’m sure  it fell off a out of state vehicle, I can only pray.
I’ve  never seen a bug in MN  like this big.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in Minnesota

Toe-Biter

Dear Curious in Minnesota,
Last we checked, Minnesota is still called The Land of 10,000 Lakes, so there is plenty of habitat for this aquatic, predatory Giant Water Bug or Toe-Biter.  We are pretty certain it is a local species for you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this thing??
Geographic location of the bug:  Around the centralia missouri area
Date: 08/18/2018
Time: 09:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy pulled into my work and this bug was in the back of his truck back in July.  He said he had been working out in the woods but never said where. If you could find out what this is, I’d be very interested in know. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  The Eagle Stop Karaoke Girl

Toe-Biter

Dear Eagle Stop Karaoke Girl,
This is a Giant Water Bug or Toe-Biter in the family Belostomatidae, and based on this BugGuide image, it might be the Eastern Toe-Biter,
Benacus griseus.

So it was supposed to say centralia not entralia XD Thank you so much!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bugs swarming at night
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Iowa
Date: 08/08/2018
Time: 08:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bug man, we live on a farm in central Iowa. The following bug has been swarming our lights at night and leaving heaping piles of dead bugs on the ground in the morning. What are these things?!
How you want your letter signed:  Becky H

Plague of Water Boatmen

Goodness Gracious Becky.
You have a plague of biblical proportions on your hands.  Even after cropping your image to a vertical, there appears to be hundreds of thousands of Water Boatmen present.  These are Water Boatmen in the family Corixidae, and your individuals look like the one in this BugGuide image from the genus
Trichocorixa.  Your submission is definite proof of the BugGuide claim:  “Adults fly to lights, sometimes in great numbers.”  Water Boatmen are aquatic True Bugs and according to BugGuide:  “Common in ponds. Also found in birdbaths. A few species live in streams, and others are found in brackish pools along the seashore above the high tidemark.”  Their food is listed as: “Algae, detritus, other aquatic organisms (mosquito larvae, brine shrimp).”  If this is the first time you have ever experienced this situation, we can only conclude that for some reason, conditions are ripe for a population explosion.  Perhaps fertilizer runoff to a nearby pond is causing an algae bloom, providing a food source for millions of Water Boatmen.  Since they can also fly, if a pond dries out, the Water Boatmen can migrate to another aquatic habitat.

Water Boatmen

Thank you for the information!  I told my husband they looked like the water bugs in our 1.4 acre pond that is right by our house!  We also live 1/4 mile from whitebreast creek.  I’m going to attach a video from this morning… biblical proportions is right!

Thanks again,
Becky
IMG_7044

Water Boatman

Thanks Becky,
We don’t load many videos to our site, but yours is quite amazing and tells the story way better than the still image.  Glad we could assist in the ID.  Hopefully this situation will not last very much longer.

Awesome, thank you so much!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Dublin, Ireland
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 01:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I just found the attached on my kitchen floor and I was wondering if you could identify it please? I think it may have dropped onto the floor from an open Velux window directly above. I currently have it under a  large upturned glass.
It does have wings and occasionally tries to fly. It’s about 2 – 3 cm long. The rear legs are markedly longer and wider than its other limbs.
The temperature here is currently 25 Celcius, in case that matters?
Many thanks for any information you can give me!
Kind regards,
How you want your letter signed:  Mark Walsh

Backswimmer

Dear Mark,
This is an aquatic True Bug commonly called a Backswimmer, and like many aquatic True Bugs, it can fly quite well, an adaptation that is quite helpful in the event a pond or swamp it is living in happens to dry out.  Based on images posted to Nature Spot, it appears it is the Common Backswimmer,
Notonecta glauca, and the site states:  “Up to nearly 2 cm in size, and commonly called backswimmers because they swim upside down and are often seen at the surface of the water. Notonecta glauca is light brown in colour with a number of dark markings and large reddish eyes. It often looks silvery as air becomes trapped in a layer of bristles covering the lower surface. The powerful oar-like hind legs are modified for swimming; they are long, flattened and fringed with hairs”  The site also states:  “Backswimmers are predators that attack prey as large as tadpoles and small fish, the forelegs, which are short and strong, are used for grabbing prey.”  Like other predatory True Bugs, they have mouths adapted to piercing and sucking fluids from prey, but they are also capable of biting unwary swimmers, leading to common names like Water Bees or Water Wasps, according to the North American site BugGuide which also notes:  “Come to lights; may invade swimming pools and become a nuisance.”  According to UK Safari:  “Adult Backswimmers are able to fly.  They hunt their prey by floating motionless on the water surface.  When they detect movement in the water they swim towards it to see if it is worth catching.  The bite from a Backswimmer can be painful as their saliva is toxic.” 

Hello Daniel,
Thank you very much for all that information and also for your time, much obliged.
We have had a much warmer and drier summer than usual in Ireland this year, so that really makes sense that a pond may have dried out somewhere…
Anyway, thanks again!
Kind regards,
Mark Walsh,
Lucan, Dublin, Ireland.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination