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10 of the largest insects in the world

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 17, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
A giant water bug on a wooden surface.

Photo: Mr. SUTTIPON YAKHAM/Shutterstock

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Giant water bug

These enormous insects, also known as toe-biters and alligator ticks, can reach lengths rivaling some of the largest beetles in the world. Giant water bugs can grow as long as four inches.

Known as voracious predators in the streams and ponds where they live, giant water bugs can deliver a painful bite (thus the nickname "toe-biters") with their giant pincers. When they grab their prey, they use their beaks to inject them with poisonous digestive juices, reports Scientific American. They wait a few minutes, then suck up the resulting liquid dinner.

Nonetheless, in Thailand they are considered good eating, and are often attracted, harvested and collected using black lights which draws in the insects.