The giant water bug, which has been found in Cyprus by scientists, does not bite human toes, Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute director Kemal Basat clarified on Thursday.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Basat explained that the insect, known scientifically as the Lethocerus patruelis, has been found in Cyprus and its existence on the island has been confirmed based off various samples collected.

“It is particularly prevalent on the east coast of the island, in Famagusta and near to Ayia Napa, and is commonly found in coastal areas, by the sea,” he said.

However, he was keen to make reassurances that the insect does not bite human toes.

The insect in question does not and has not bitten human toes or any part of the human body,” he said.

He added, “people going to beaches should not be worried that this insect is there and is going to bite their toes. While the insect is present on beaches on the island’s eastern coast, it does not bite human toes.

“There was research about this insect conducted by Kadir Bogac Kunt, who works with us. He has a peer-reviewed article which clearly states that the insect does not consume human toes.”

The giant water bug in fact feeds on other aquatic arthropods, tadpoles, and small fish.