Water Scorpion from Gambia

Subject: unknown creature
Location: Kotu beach, Gambia
August 1, 2012 1:15 pm
Saw this insect? on the beach in the Gambia.It was around 25-30 cm long.Very big !Can you help?
Signature: anyway

Water Scorpion

Dear anyway,
This is an aquatic True Bug known as a Water Scorpion.  Though they are not considered venomous, they are predators with piercing and sucking mouthparts that can deliver a painful bite if they are carelessly handled or accidentally encountered in the water.  Most Water Scorpions can also take flight in the event their aquatic homes dry out.

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