water scorpion


water scorpion
n.
any of a family (Nepidae) of elongated, sticklike, four-winged hemipteran insects, characterized by a long breathing tube at the anal end of the abdomen

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insect
      any of the approximately 150 species of aquatic invertebrates of the family Nepidae (order Hemiptera). The water scorpion resembles a land scorpion in certain ways: it has scythelike front legs adapted for seizing prey and a long, thin, whiplike structure at its posterior end. This “tail,” made up of two attached respiratory tubes, is extended above the surface of the water, enabling the animal to take in air. The bite of the water scorpion is painful but is far less harmful to humans than the sting of the true scorpion.

      Water scorpions are blackish brown in colour and measure about 25 to 52 millimetres (1 to 2 inches) in length. The different species vary somewhat in shape. Those of the genus Nepa, for example, have a slightly elongated, oval-shaped body, whereas those of other genera tend to be longer and more cylindrical. Water scorpions are able to swim by moving their front legs up and down and kicking the middle and hind pairs. The latter two sets of legs are also used for crawling.

      Found worldwide, water scorpions live primarily along the bottom edges of ditches and muddy ponds, where they hide among dead, water-logged leaves and other plant debris to ambush prey. They rarely move about in open water because they are poor swimmers. Adults lay their eggs in the crevices of debris and on the stalks of water plants.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Water scorpion — Scorpion Scor pi*on, n. [F., fr. L. scorpio, scorpius, Gr. ?, perhaps akin to E. sharp.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of pulmonate arachnids of the order {Scorpiones}, having a suctorial mouth, large claw bearing palpi, and a caudal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Water scorpion — Wa ter scor pi*on (Zo[ o]l.) See {Nepa}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water scorpion — n. any of a family (Nepidae) of elongated, sticklike, four winged hemipteran insects, characterized by a long breathing tube at the anal end of the abdomen …   English World dictionary

  • water scorpion — Nepa Ne pa, n. [L. nepa scorpion.] (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of aquatic hemipterous insects. The species feed upon other insects and are noted for their voracity; called also {scorpion bug} and {water scorpion}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water scorpion — noun a predatory water bug with grasping forelegs. [Family Nepidae.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • water scorpion — noun long legged aquatic insect having the front legs fitted for seizing and holding prey and the abdomen extended by a long breathing tube • Hypernyms: ↑water bug • Member Holonyms: ↑Nepidae, ↑family Nepidae …   Useful english dictionary

  • water scorpion — noun Date: 1681 any of numerous aquatic bugs (family Nepidae) with the end of the abdomen prolonged by a long breathing tube …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • water scorpion — noun any long legged aquatic insect of the family Nepidae, especially the species Nepa cinerea …   Wiktionary

  • water scorpion — /ˈwɔtə skɔpiən/ (say wawtuh skawpeeuhn) noun any of the aquatic hemipterous insects constituting the family Nepidae (genera Nepa, Ranatra, etc.), having a tail like process through which respiration is effected …   Australian English dictionary

  • water scorpion-grass — pelkinė neužmirštuolė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agurklinių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Myosotis scorpioides), paplitęs Europoje ir vakarų Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Myosotis scorpioides angl. forget me not; true forget me not; water …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)