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[APD] Re: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 5, Issue 44

Hi Laura,

    Once again, the problem of common names... The insect in Tom's photos is
also referred to as a water scorpion or needle bug. They are a member of the
order Hemiptera, the true bugs, family Nepidae, genus Ranatra.

    They have a piercing mouth they use to feed on other insects, small
fish, tadpoles etc., and while not really dangerous, it hurts when they
bite! (guess how I know<g>) The long tube extending from the abdomen isn't a
stinger though, but a breathing tube they extend to the surface while
waiting, head down, for unsuspecting prey to come by. They have wings and
can fly, usually at night, so a tight tank cover might be in order if you
are interested in keeping them in an aquarium.

Ron Barter
Perth, Ontario


> Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 20:06:28 -0500
> To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com
> From: Laura Wichers <cellostix at wtw_waveform.net>
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> Subject: [APD] Water mantis
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> Tom Barr's picture gallery included a picture of a water mantis.  My mom's
> an AP Bio teacher and is always looking for new and unusual sources for
> extra credit questions of her students, and she thinks the mantis might
> work.  Problem is, we're having a heck of time finding any info about
> it.  None of my bio professors here at school have heard of it, and the
> usual google searches just throw back results about some weird card
> game.  If anyone knows about this creature, I'd take any info you have.
> Thanks!
> Laura

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