Currently viewing the category: "Toe Biters and other Aquatic True Bugs"

Subject:  What in the world is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Myrtle Beach, SC
Date: 06/15/2021
Time: 07:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bug man. My son found this creature out on the beach after a small storm came through. Nobody in our hotel has ever seen anything like it. What could it be? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  A. Page

Toe-Biter

Dear A. Page,
This is a Giant Water Bug, the largest true bug in North America.  It is an aquatic predator that can fly from pond to pond should its home dry up.  Though it can swim and fly quite well, it is clumsy on land.  Many a swimmer and wader has been bitten after stepping on a Giant Water Bug, earning it the common name Toe-Biter.

Subject:  Insect in Mass.
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Massachusetts
Date: 04/19/2021
Time: 12:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you help identify this large insect. It was walking a crosswalk at night.
How you want your letter signed:  M Grybko

Toebiter

Dear M Grybko,
This is a Toebiter, also known as a Giant Water Bug or Electric Light Bug.  This is one of the most frequent identification requests we receive.

Thank you for the quick response. I haven’t seen one before and I am over 50.

Subject:  scary big beetle in Utah
Geographic location of the bug:  Orem Utah
Date: 04/06/2021
Time: 08:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is the biggest beetle I have ever seen in Utah. I would have thought it was a kind of cockroach but we don’t have cockroaches this far north in Utah. I poked it with a big zip tie, to see if it was alive, and it was. The zip tie made the beetle look small in the picture but the zip tie is just really big. The beetle is approximately 2 and 1/8th or 1/4th  inches long. it has two big pinchers, or legs I can’t tell, when it was resting the pincher/legs were in front of it, and when I poked it lifted its self off the ground and held them up as seen here in the picture.
How you want your letter signed:  Addy Miller

Toebiter

Dear Addy,
This is not a Beetle but it is the largest True Bug in North America, the aquatic Giant Water Bug or Toe-Biter.  They are alleged to have a very painful bite and more than one swimmer has encountered a Toe-Biter while wading, justifying the common name.  Though clumsy on land, they are quite agile while swimming and catching prey like small fish and tadpoles as well as other insects, and when their ponds dry out, they are capable of flying great distances in search of more standing water.

Thank you, that is very helpful.

Subject:  Huge black beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario Canada
Date: 05/26/2020
Time: 11:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Hello

Toe-Biter

This is not a Beetle.  It is anaquatic Giant Water Bug commonly called a Toe-Biter.

 

Subject:  Large Bug/Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  South Central Kentucky
Date: 09/28/2019
Time: 01:21 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would really appreciate any info about this bug. It was about 2.5 inches and the weirdest thing was that its head moved in an in and out motion like it was vibrating. It also fluttered on the ground but never flew. It did not like light. It was kind of a green/gray color. Ive lived here for ten years and have never seen one before.
How you want your letter signed:  James

Electric Light Bug

Dear James,
The Giant Water Bug or Toe-Biter is also commonly called an Electric Light Bug because they are attracted to electric lights, often in large numbers in areas like outdoor football stadiums.

Subject:  Unknown bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, Masteri
Date: 03/30/2019
Time: 11:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  The bug is brown with no wings. It is very strong as it is still stuck to my net when I shakes it really hard.
How you want your letter signed:  Allison

Water Scorpion

Dear Allison,
This looks to us like an aquatic, predatory Water Scorpion.  You did not indicate if you were using your net in the water or to catch flying things.  Water Scorpions actually do have wings and they are capable of flying from pond to pond.  Handle Water Scorpions with caution.  They can bite and the bite is reported to be quite painful.