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Family Nepidae - Waterscorpions

waterscorpion nymph - Curicta scorpio Ranatra - Ranatra australis What sp. of water scorpion? - Ranatra Ranatra fusca? - Ranatra large water scorpion - Ranatra Hydrometra? - Ranatra Waterscorpion - Ranatra fusca Nepa apiculata
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Nepomorpha (Aquatic Bugs)
Superfamily Nepoidea
Family Nepidae (Waterscorpions)
Explanation of Names
Nepidae Latreille 1802
2 subfamilies, with 13 spp. in 3 genera in our area(1) and ~270 spp. in 15 genera worldwide(2)
15-46 mm + 16-44 mm breathing tube(1)
Key to species in (3)
Ranatra resemble walkingsticks
Nepa resemble giant water bugs; e. US
Curicta AZ-TX only
Worldwide, by far more diverse in warmer regions(2); in our area, Ranatra are widespread (and the most commonly found), Nepa apiculata occurs in e. US, and the relatively rare Curicta species, in sw. US(4)
fast- or slow-moving water, mostly the latter; they wait submerged on floating plants and other debris for prey(2)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Biodiversity of the Heteroptera
Henry T.J. 2009. In: Foottit R.G., Adler P.H., eds. Insect biodiversity: Science and society. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell: 223-263.
3.Nepidae (Hemiptera) of the United States and Canada
Sites, R. W., and J. T. Polhemus. 1994. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 87(1):27-42.
4.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.