Water scorpion - Nepa cinerea

    Description

    The water scorpion is a large, brown, leaf shaped predacious water bug. The long tail acts as a breathing tube to penetrate the water surface, exactly like a snorkel.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Clean well-vegetated ponds and other still or gently flowing water.

    Life History

    Feeds on Insects, tadpoles and small fish. It conceals itself in weed and grabs passing prey with its pincer-like front legs. The female lays eggs in the stems of plants under water.

    UK Status

    Widely distributed in Britain, but commoner in the south.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map