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Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Hemiptera
Suborder Heteroptera
Family Gelastocoridae
Common Name Toad bugs
Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Oval, flattened shape with cryptic coloration
  • Bulging eyes
  • Antennae hidden below the head
  • Short rostrum
  • Front legs grasping, with broad femurs
Additional Pictures
     Found worldwide, larvae and adults range from 6-15 mm in length. The preferred habitat for these riparian insects are in the margins of streams and ponds, feeding on small insects.

     Gelastocoridae are reminiscent of toads both in their warty appearance and hopping movement. They catch their prey by leaping on top of them and grasping them with their modified front legs. Toad bugs have large protuberant eyes and cryptic coloration. They have hemelytra for their forewings and piercing-sucking mouthparts.

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Merritt, R W., K W. Cummins, and M B. Berg. An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Company, 2008