Also known by their Latin name (Nepa Cinerea), Water Scorpions are insects that look similar to land Scorpions. They are dark brown in colour and 3 – 5 cm in length and they certainly are a strange looking insect with their long narrow tails that looks like a sting though, this is actually their breathing apparatus. They hang upside down with their tails stuck up in the air out of the water so they are able to breathe air.
This is rather clever as they can take enough air to stay under water for up to 30 minutes at a time. Water Scorpions also have fierce looking front leg pincers designed to pierce and grab hold of any passing Tadpoles and or baby Fish.
Habitat and Life Cycle
Water Scorpions can be found throughout the UK in fresh water ponds. These peculiar under water predators, spend most of their time crawling amongst shallow aquatic vegetation where they can hide and pounce on passing prey. Adult females can lay up to 30 eggs and the newly hatched Nymphs go through a series of metamorphic molts until they become adults. After each molt, their body shape and the length of tail, pincers and legs, changes until they end up looking like under water scorpions.
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