Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Benacus griseus - Eastern Toe-Biter

Roach from Publix - Benacus griseus Weird Biting Beetle - Benacus griseus giant water bug - Benacus griseus Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus americanus) ? - Benacus griseus bug - Benacus griseus Benacus griseus or Lethocerus americanus? - Benacus griseus Water Bug - Benacus griseus Possibly Lethocerus americanus - Benacus griseus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Nepomorpha (Aquatic Bugs)
Superfamily Nepoidea
Family Belostomatidae (Giant Water Bugs)
Subfamily Lethocerinae
Genus Benacus
Species griseus (Eastern Toe-Biter)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Lethocerus griseus
Explanation of Names
Benacus griseus (Say 1832)
griseus is Latin for "gray"
♂ 45-56 mm, ♀ 53-62 mm(1)
According to J.T. Polhemus, "can be separated from L. americanus... by the evenly curving anterior margins of the eyes; L. americanus has more bulging eyes. The best key character of griseus is the pad of "fur" rather than a groove on the inner face of the fore femur; griseus is the only Lethocerus species with this feature."
in B. griseus, anterior margin of eye is evenly curved, posterior margin of eye is at an oblique angle to body axis, and eye is broadly triangular with rounded corners; outer margin of hind tibia broadly curved; width of first hind tarsal segment greater than least interocular distance [all of these features are visible here]
in L. americanus, anterior margin of eye is bulging, posterior margin of eye is perpendicular to body axis, and eye is almost spherical; outer margin of hind tibia almost straight; width of first hind tarsal segment less than or equal to least interocular distance
in L. uhleri, the middle and hind legs are distinctly banded
e. Canada (QC-MB) to Honduras, West Indies; the northern limit seems to be the Great
Lakes region(1)(2)(3)
ponds and other bodies of still, shallow water
Works Cited
1.Taxonomic revision of the subfamily Lethocerinae Lauck & Menke (Heteroptera: Belostomatidae)
Perez-Goodwyn P.J. 2006. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde, Serie A (Biologie) 695: 1–71.
2.Choate P.M. () Giant water bugs, electric light bugs, Lethocerus, Abedus, Belostoma (Insecta: Hemiptera: Belostomatidae)
3.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Canada and Alaska
Maw, H.E.L., R.G. Foottit, K.G.A. Hamilton and G.G.E. Scudder. 2000. NRC Research Press.