Water Scorpion pummelled to death

What is this thing?
Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 7:26 AM
Found this bug by the open overhead door at the metal shop I was working in. It was September I believe. I kept it alive and scooped him up with a piece of paper and took it outside, however the owners son proceeded to smash it repeatedly with a 5 lb dead blow hammer, of course I was wroth with him for it. He smashes all the weird bugs that seem to show up in large numbers around the shop also. Found a luna moth that had been knocked down by a robin, and I saved a praying mantis that was over 4 inches long this fall! Don’t know what this thing is, had small hooks on the end of it’s strange mantis like front legs. Some damage to it in the picture, probably as a result of flying into the stockroom of a metal shop! if you could identify it, I would be grateful.
Western NY state, USA

Water Scorpion smashed to death
Water Scorpion smashed to death

Hi Matt,
We are very sorry to hear that this unfortunate Water Scorpion has been pummelled to death by an insensitive insect hater.  The Water Scorpion in the genus Ranatra is a predatory aquatic insect that can fly and is sometimes attracted to lights.  Water Scorpions get their name from the painful bite they will deliver if they are mishandled, but the species does not aggressively bite humans.

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