Toad bugs in the family Gelastocoridae comprise approximately 100 species found worldwide but, predominantly they occur in the tropics. These little bugs are in the order Hemiptera, making them true bugs and more closely related to assassin bugs than beetles, although they resemble beetles. They also look superficially like the toads they are named after. They are small at 15 mm in length or less, but hop around like mini-toads. They even have a somewhat warty appearance like toads. Nymphs of some specimens of these bugs will pile sand on their backs which allows them to blend in with their sandy surroundings. They are typically found near rivers, ponds, lakes, creeks, streams and other watery locations with muddy or sandy shorelines. They feed on smaller insects, and capture them by hopping onto them and holding on with their front legs.
These little bugs are easily overlooked because of their cryptic coloring. Next time you visit a pond, stream or other body of water, watch closely and you may see one of these little bugs hopping around the shore. Careful inspection will reveal a 6-legged arthropod and not a toad at all.