Waterscorpion

Wade

Arachnoking
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There's been no posts on the insect forum for 5 days, so just for fun here's a pic of a waterscorpion, this one's a Renatra sp. from around here in central VA. Personally, I think "watermantid" would be a better name for this animal, but whattya gonna do?

We also have a Nepa sp. here that's more broad and somewhat more scorpion like.

The long "tail" is a breathing tube. They don't have a stinger, but they can bite if handled carelessly.

Wade
 

Alex S.

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Very nice Ranatra specimen, Wade.

Alex S.
 
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Wade

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Thanks, Alex!

It may well be R. linearis, I don't know much beyond the genus. They're very common around here. I think the Nepa we have is the only one in the US, so it should be easy to pin down. Nepa is less common, at least visibly, they're really hard to spot, looking like nothing but a bit of dead leaf. I was actually looking for Nepa when I dip-netted all the Renatra (I've got about 8 of them in a tank now, along with some backswimmers, a crayfish and a water bug). I only got one Nepa then and it died the next day, not sure why, I've kept them before for months at a time with no problems.

I actually found the first Nepa recorded in Henrico County...not a big deal, since the area hasn't been studied that intensely. I actually found it by accident, I was collecting mud for a softshell turtle tank!

Wade
 

Alex S.

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Nepidae

Hey Wade, Nepa apiculata, found on the east coast, is the only species in the genus Nepa native to the U.S. Thats awesome that you found the first specimen in your county.

Alex S.
 
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Theraphosa

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what do you feed your waterscorpion? fishes? how often do you changed the water for your waterscorpion?
 

Wade

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Mostly, I feed them small crickets. The tank is well planted and the bugs are near the surface, so when the crickets hit the water the waterscorpions have no problem catching them. They may eat fish if they're small enough, but these guys are kind of slow. The bigger tropical species can probably take fish.

The bigger, and simmilar appearing, giant water bugs are a bit more bold and will take minnows.

I change about half the water once a week.

Wade
 
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