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Unusual invertebrate - Waterscorpion

Unusual invertebrate - Waterscorpion

Postby Sfourie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:42 am

Hi all

Thought it would be a good idea to let my Labrador have an overdue swim the other day. I found this unusual invertebrate on one of the pipes in the pool.

At first I thought it might be a Whipscorpion. At second glance I noticed that it did not have the correct number of legs nor were the pincers robust enough. The head was distinct from the body and it also looked as if it may have wings

I spent the rest of the afternoon taking photographs and doing research much to the dismay of my long suffering Labrador.

It turns out that this is an insect of the order Hemiptera, true bugs, and of the family Nepidae, commonly referred to as Waterscorpions.

I have not been able to find out to much of its habits. They seem to be ambush predators hanging upside down in the water, the raptorial forelegs being used to catch their prey. The tail is used as a breathing apparatus. They inhabit slowing moving streams or ponds and they are capable of flight.

If anyone else has any information to add it would be appreciated.

Image

Image

Regards

Stefan
A Shangaan legend states that any man resting or sleeping in the shade of a baobab will become eccentric and forever be enslaved by Africa and its wilderness, guess it's too late for me.
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Re: Unusual invertebrate - Waterscorpion

Postby Herald_23 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:14 pm

Two species are identified. Ranatra and Laccotrephes. They are not very good swimmers and usually hang around plants just below the surface preying mainly on tadpoles. Found in still bodies of water. Usually don't reach lengths exceeding 5cm.
They are distributed throughout South Africa
The lion does not fear the jackal
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Re: Unusual invertebrate - Waterscorpion

Postby Sfourie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:56 pm

Thanks Herald_23
A Shangaan legend states that any man resting or sleeping in the shade of a baobab will become eccentric and forever be enslaved by Africa and its wilderness, guess it's too late for me.
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Re: Unusual invertebrate - Waterscorpion

Postby it_bit_me » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:01 pm

I hear their bite is just as painful as an assassin bug.
If I'm gonna be an old, lonely man, I'm gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I'll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y'know. Crazy Snake Man. And I'll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids won't walk past my place, they will run. "Run away from Crazy Snake Man, " they'll shout!”
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Re: Unusual invertebrate - Waterscorpion

Postby Robyn@TRR » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:21 am

I don't know jack about them, but it is awfully cool looking!
Robyn@TheReptileReport.com, ShipYourReptiles and Pro Exotics
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