There are creatures other than sharks that you need to be afraid of when taking a dip in open waters. Actually, sharks don’t inhabit the giant water bug’s habitat, which is generally overgrown ponds, streams, and wetlands. In terms of their bite, there are numerous entomologists that consider it one of the most painful insect bites/stings in the world.
While the giant water bug also has the nickname “toe-biter,” they tend to prefer to play dead in the presence of humans, and only bite if they are handled, cornered, or are being captured. They also play a pretty important role in the underwater ecosystem, acting as a top-of-the-line predator for small aquatic animals in waters with less fish to control the population. They’re not very picky when it comes to what they eat either, happy to dine on everything from crustaceans and small fish to amphibians. They catch their prey by hiding at the bottom of a body of water, lying so still that they are undetectable to their prey. When a tasty animal passes overhead, the giant water bug grabs it with its powerful front legs, simultaneously injecting it with strong digestive saliva that liquefies the insides of the creature’s body.
You might want to watch your toes the next time you go swimming in a charming stream or pond…
What other insects have you encountered in lakes and streams?