Other Common Names
Giant Water Bug, Toe Biter, Electric Light Bug
body football-shaped (oval with pointed ends); membrane of hemelytra large and well-developed; larger than Abedus
but smaller than Lethocerus(1)(3)(2)(4)
slow-moving and standing water with submerged or emergent vegetation
adults present spring through fall
nymphs and adults are predaceous on aquatic arthropods as well as snails, small fish, and the larvae and adults of frogs and toads
one generation per year; overwinters as an adult; mating and egg laying occurs in late spring or early summer
Females cement their eggs to the backs of males, who swim with the eggs attached, providing aeration and protection until the eggs hatch. (adult male B. flumineum carrying eggs
Adults often hang head-downward from the water surface, breathing air through a short tube at the end of the abdomen.
Adults can inflict a painful bite if handled but usually play dead when captured.