Sunday 17 July 2011

Strange critters

Here are a couple of the strange creatures that inhabit our ponds. The first is a Water Stick Insect, shown with the remains of the beetle it was eating before it was rudely interrupted. They apparently "lurk in dense vegetation, motionless and mantis-like, waiting to seize their prey." (Collins Field Guide to Freshwater Life).

Below is the closely-related Water Scorpion. Both of them have breathing tubes extending from their tails. The front legs are used like a powerful pair of pincers.

Many thanks to David Wheeler for the photos.

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