Sunday, 3 February 2019

Not a sting in the tail

Checking the pool this morning I found a couple of Water Scorpions or Toe Biters Laccotrephes tristis   in the skimmer box. The pool is not usually their habitat but they seem to fly in at night thinking it is a dam or pond. They look to capture tadpoles, frogs and aquatic insects using their modified forelegs. Once they have secured their prey they bring it to their proboscis and inject an enzyme to liquefy the innards for a slurpee meal.

The long tail which is responsible for the scorpion name, is not a sting but is actually a siphon to breath air, as they wait for a meal to come by, although they can remain submerged for a considerable time. The Toe Biter name comes from those who have had the misfortune to have one of these bugs grab hold and pierce a toe or finger etc causing quite a bit of pain but nothing serious.


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