Have you ever heard of the Lethocerus americanus, also known as the "toe-biter" or the "giant water bug"? It's a bug commonly found all over North America, and it's terrifying. The insect, most commonly found in ponds, marshes, streams and lakes, lives mostly underwater.
It's part of the giant water bug family, and as the name indicates, these things are HUGE. They measure about 2-2.4 inches in length, and they can fly. Let me tell you that I would not want one of those to fly into my hair.
These insects are ferocious predators, hunting for prey of a similar size to them like frogs, small fish, small newts, and even SNAKES.
The insects use their mouthpieces (that's right, mouthpieces PLURAL) to inject digestive liquid into their prey. The digestive liquid then dissolves the insides of the prey, allowing the giant water bug to drink the liquid innards.
Most insects generate very large numbers of young, which must live or die on their own. But there are many exceptio… https://t.co/6IXCPwUfIG— American Museum of Natural History (@American Museum of Natural History)1517513859.0
The bug is a vigorous swimmer, as it needs to swim fast in order to catch its prey. It's also an accomplished flyer, and it can fly quite a distance from its home.
The bugs cammouflage into their environments, and can therefore be quite difficult to spot in their natural habitat. The bugs tend to be at the bottom of lakes, marshes and slow streams.
This giant water bug blends in seamlessly with its surroundings as it hunts and kills its prey. #DeadByDawn https://t.co/i5K79eeyMU— Nat Geo WILD (@Nat Geo WILD)1548450000.0
Though they prefer to avoid humans when possible, these insects will deliver a painful bite if threatened, hence its name "toe biter."
According to the Montreal Insectarium, "its bite causes a burning sensation and swelling around the affected area. Depending on the quantity of saliva injected, the bite may cause a brownish stain on the skin, which will slowly disappear weeks or months afterwards."