Hi there. This fellow was extricated from underwater brush in a lake nearby which is mostly frozen over though thawed in places. At first I believed he was a "Walking Stick." However, the legs seemed wrong. Scanning internet images led me to now believe he may be a Water Scorpion. (And to think I kept repositioning him, which he seemed to tolerate cheerfully enough!) I’d really like your confirmation, please! Thanks for your tremendous site!
We always enjoy getting interesting images from you. Yours is the first photograph we have gotten of a Water Scorpion, though we have gotten several letters. Your specimen looks like a Western Water Scorpion, Ranatra brevicollis. They get to be about 1 inch long with an additional inch of breathing tubes. They are found in shallow ponds amid debris. They will bite painfully if provoked.