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


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,

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


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

Subject:  ???
Geographic location of the bug:  North Carolina USA
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 03:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What the heck is it been in NC my whole life never seen it before
How you want your letter signed:  Hey Joe your bug.


Hey Joe,
We can’t believe it is the beginning of August and this is just the second Toe-Biter or Giant Water Bug image we are posting this year.  The Toe-Biter is an aquatic predator that also flies quite well and is attracted to electric lights.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Ottawa ontario canada
Date: 04/25/2018
Time: 07:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw this bug casually crossing a busy street on April 24 2018. The crab like front legs and bulging eyes kind of creeped us out. We put something in the frame to measure by.
How you want your letter signed:  Gabrielle


Dear Gabrielle,
This is not a Beetle.  It is an aquatic True Bug commonly called a Giant Water Bug or Toe-Biter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Possibly a Giant waterbug
Geographic location of the bug:  Tom Price Western Australia
Date: 04/19/2018
Time: 03:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi me and my daughter found an interesting bug in our pool. We live in Tom Price Western Australia (the Pilbara region) we found It  swimming around in the pool, when it was brought out it made the shape of a leaf. I suspect it is a Giant water bug, but this one is quite thin and it has long “tail”possibly a syphon for air while it lays in wait in the water.
Ive never come across one that looks like this before
How you want your letter signed:  Jordan Chennell-Kuehne

Water Scorpion

Dear Jordan,
We reserve the name Giant Water Bug for the group of aquatic predators in the family Belostomatidae.  This is actually a Water Scorpion, another aquatic predator from the family Nepidae, and both families are classified together in the superfamily Nepoidea, meaning they share physical similarities.  According to Ausemade:  “With their large pincer-like forelegs used for seizing their prey, Water Scorpions can inflict a nasty nip, although they are also known to play dead when disturbed.” 

Water Scorpion

Thank you so much for this information, Ive already got all the details for my daughter she loves insects and is very interested so of course we encourage studying them and learning about them.
Thanks again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination