Insect identification > Hemiptera > Water scorpions

Water scorpions

Family Nepidae. - The water scorpions, as these insects are called, live in fresh-water ponds and pools. Two types of form are included, one having a long, slender body and long legs (Fig. 170), the front pair of which, unusually long, are constructed for grasping their prey which consists of small insects.

In the other type the body is short, rather broad, and flat. In both a long tube, consisting of two pieces which can be pressed together to form the tube, joins the hinder end of the body and, while the insect is an inch under water in some cases, this tube is pointed upward ing eggs on its back, until its tip is out of water and through it the insect obtains air.

The slender forms lying quiet on the bottom of pools resemble dead twigs and thus obtain the concealment needed to enable them to get within reach of their food.