Type of bug needs I.D.
January 9, 2010
Just found this bug with an aquarium order I received this week. Found it in a tank with some guppies. I really have no idea what it is or how it came to be. I would appreciate it if you could identify it.
This is a Water Scorpion in the genus Ranatra and there is information on BugGuide. Water Scorpions are predatory True Bugs and they will eat the guppies, so you should not keep it in the tank. Prey is captured in the raptorial front legs and the sucking mouthparts will drain the prey of its fluids. The Water Scorpion may have been introduced on plants. Water Scorpions, like many other aquatic insects, can make interesting pets, but as they can fly, you should keep the tank covered. Interestingly, we have a section in the book manuscript we are writing entitled “What’s That in the Aquarium” that is devoted to aquatic insects sometimes encountered by the aquarist.