Water scorpion - Nepa cinerea


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

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


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map