Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia July 27-29: Registration and Discussion

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Genus Gelastocoris

Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Big-eyed Toad Bug? - Gelastocoris oculatus - male - female Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Gelastocoris oculatus - Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Gelastocorid - Gelastocoris oculatus Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad Bug - Gelastocoris rotundatus
Classification
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 Ochteroidea
Family Gelastocoridae (Toad Bugs)
Genus Gelastocoris
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gelastocoris Kirkaldy, 1897
Explanation of Names
From Greek gelasto, laugh; plus coris, a bug (1). The Century Dictionary (2) gives the meaning of the Greek word gelastos (γελαστος) as "laughable, ridiculous", and that makes sense in this context--this is a "ridiculous bug" in terms of its appearance.
Numbers
2 spp. north of Mexico(3)
Size
5-10 mm
Identification
A common, though well-camouflaged bug of muddy freshwater shorelines. Some characters:
walks, or sometimes, hops
wide oval flattened body with projecting sides of prothorax
bulging eyes
pronotal humeral angles are sharp in G. oculatus vs. rounded in G. rotundatus (which occurs in the southwest only)(4)
Comparison of the two North American species:
  
Range
throughout the US and into so. Canada (G. oculatus across NA; G. rotundatus in AZ & NM)(3)
Habitat
shores of quiet water bodies(5)
Food
Predatory on smaller insects.
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid near water's edge in mud or sand, or under stones. Nymphs grow slowly if food is scarce. Adults overwinter, but few eggs hatch before early summer.(6)
Print References
Borror, entries for gelasto, coris (1)
The Century Dictionary, entry for gelastic (2)
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
3.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
4.How to Know the True Bugs
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.
5.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
6.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.