Tag Archives: giant water bug

Giant Waterbug/Toe Biter

15 Jan


Like my new hair accessory? Now, before anyone goes warning me about this bad boy “biting” me, I’ll let you know it’s dead. I found it that way. And if you don’t know what this beautiful creature is, it’s the Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus insulanus). Or more commonly known as the Toe Biter, in many parts of the world.


These guys feed in water (although they can fly)on small fish, tadpoles and your toes, should you step in the water. Just kidding…sort of. 


As you can see in the picture, their front legs have a small hook like claw, helpful when pulling in prey. They feed (put simply) by sticking their mouthpart, known as a rostrum, into their prey,  injecting a saliva that helps liquify it, and then sucking it up.

And I’ve heard rumor that a piercing from one of these guys is quite painful. But aren’t they stunning to look at?

Would the real Toe Biter please stand up!

23 Jun

Alright, so I’ve been promising to clear up this confusion about what is considered a ‘toe biter’ here in Australia. (And in America, as I’ve recently found out.)

So, contrary to what I’ve been told (by a few Aussies) the following picture is not a toe biter, but a mole cricket…and nothing to fear.

mole-cricket1Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org

As I discussed in this post —-> HERE, what is commonly referred to as a toe biter is actually a Giant Water Bug.

WebPhoto credit: http://australianmuseum.net.au

Scary looking, right? And sure, if you were swimming in a lake and this guy swam by, you might scream like a little girl. These guys can get up to around 7cm in length (that’s around 2.75 inches) so for a “bug”, that’s too big for some people. And they’re even bigger in South America!

Now, I’m sure you noticed those pincers he’s got at the front. Those are used to grab their prey before they go in for the kill with their rostrum, or mouthpart, that they have tucked neatly underneath them. And it’s said these guys give a whopper of a sting if they get a hold of you, one of the worst, in fact. But you will live so don’t panic…too much.

And as if worrying about these guys in the water wasn’t enough, the adults can, and do fly. Perfect, huh?

But don’t fret, they are also known to play dead when threatened. Although after being bitten by what I thought was a dead Huntsman, I wouldn’t put it past these guys to take you on.

And just because I LOVE big bugs and like to freak people out, I’m going to post this:

giant water bug

Photo credit: http://www.oddballdaily.com

Sweet dreams!