Water Insect

Water Insect

Observation - Water Insect - Southern Africa. Description: After some heavy storm activity, this strange creature turned up in a swimming pool in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg. Initially when I looked at the pictures sent to me, I thought it might be some kind of water beetle, but the large front pincers w

After some heavy storm activity, this strange creature turned up in a swimming pool in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg. Initially when I looked at the pictures sent to me, I thought it might be some kind of water beetle, but the large front pincers were unusual. I then suspected a scorpion, but noticed only 4 legs behind the pincers. I asked the sender to confirm and he said there were indeed only 6 legs if the pincers were included. Thus I concluded it was an insect and quickly tracked down the Nepidae family of insects commonly known as waterscorpions, of which this was an excellent example. The waterscorpion has a breathing tube (caudal process) and in the first picture you can clearly see it waiting for prey with the breathing tube above the water. In the last picture, it has actually caught a smaller insect (Christmas Beetle).