Native to: Southern US
If you’ve ever wanted something unusual to look at in your freshwater tank, this is probably it! Simple to care for, hearty, easy, and hard to kill! This is a wildly unique, stick-bug looking animal. Water scorpions are not really scorpions, but insects with only 3 pairs of legs & 2 pairs of wings. The forelegs of the water scorpions are adapted for grasping prey, but lack pincers; instead, they use a jack-knifing design with the outer segments folding into a groove to secure prey. The tail does NOT sting, nor is this a venomous animal. The tail is used to obtain air from the water surface, much like a snorkel.
There are nine different species of water scorpions found in North America, but they are difficult to identify. Adults are 1.2 to 1.4 inches (30-35 mm) long & 1/4 tail.
Water scorpions can swim for short distances but seldom do so unless disturbed by other animals. When swimming, they use an oar-like movement of the second and third legs to propel themselves in a jerky fashion. Reproduction might occur only once a year. Males attract females by a quiet chirping like a cricket. After mating the female lays several eggs which are attached to aquatic plants. Eggs will hatch in early summer into nymphs which will ass through five molts before maturation.
Water Scoprions are easy animals to maintain in an indoor aquarium or outdoor pond. Water scorpions will filter feed on tiny organisms that will pass through the water and also will feed on some of the smaller foods you might offer your fish or shrimp.
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