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Content tagged with "aquatic insect"

Photo of an Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly, male

Eastern Pondhawk, Male

The eastern pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis, is in the large family of dragonflies called skimmers. Although young males are green with black abdomen spots, older males have a blue abdomen and green face. Sparring males engage in fascinating aerial maneuvers.

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Photo of an ebony jewelwing damselfly

Ebony Jewelwing (Damselfly)

The ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) is a lovely damselfly usually found in forested areas along streams and small rivers. Their flight is fluttery, and they rarely go far when disturbed.

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Photo of female Elfin Skimmer or Bluebell Dragonfly on flower

Elfin Skimmer (Bluebell Dragonfly)

The elfin skimmer, or bluebell, Nannothemis bella, is a tiny dragonfly that grows to only about ¾ inch long. Males are pale blue, with white on the face, and have a club-shaped abdomen. Females resemble wasps, with black and yellow bands.

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Hine's emerald dragonfly

Emeralds of the Ozarks

Rare and beautiful dragonflies of Missouri.

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Photo of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bug (Belostoma)

Members of the genus Belostoma can reach 2 inches in length. Strong fliers, they are also called "electric light bugs" because at night they are attracted to artificial lights.

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Photo showing the beak of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bug Beak

Like all other "true bugs," giant water bugs have tubelike, piercing mouthparts. In this case, they inject a saliva that paralyzes and digests their prey. The bug sucks the resulting liquid.

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Photo of a giant water bug nymph

Giant Water Bug Nymph

Giant water bugs develop full wings for flying upon their final molt. Until then, "wing buds" appear on the sides of the thorax of immature bugs. Most true bugs have wings that develop this way.

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Photo of a giant water bug

Giant Water Bugs

Species in the genera Abedus, Belostoma, and Lethocerus
Giant water bugs are huge aquatic insects that frequently fly around electric lights at night. They are infamous for the painful bite they can deliver, but fish, birds — and some people — find them tasty!

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Photo of hellgrammite

Hellgrammite (Dobsonfly Larva)

Hellgrammites are the aquatic larval stage of dobsonflies. The head is equipped with a pair of sharp pincers that can deliver a painful (but harmless) bite.

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Photo of a hellgrammite on a human hand

Hellgrammite Bait

Hellgrammites are commonly used by anglers as bait.

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