Stick bug/monster strider?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Eyejuggler, May 7, 2013.

  1. Was out at a local lake today and as I was releasing a fish, this guy sort of paddled up to my float tube. I got off a poor picture before he went under the tube and disappeared.
    Approx 3 to 4 inches long and at first I thought a walking stick, but it was swimming under the surface film. Odd critter for sure and I did not have a replica in my fly box.
    I will research it tonight but I thought I would drop a post/image here.
    I did a search of the Entomology forum but came up with nothing close.

    BTW the surface temp was 68 to 70 degrees and fishing was slow.

  2. Looks like a water scorpion.
  3. That thing is cool
  4. Looks like Ranatra, sometimes called water scorpion (some related genera actually look more like a scorpion) sometimes also called a stick bug for obvious reasons. Pretty predacious, it injects an enzyme with its long sharp proboscis that dissolves tissue then sucks it out.
  5. Here's a picture I took of one a couple of years ago. The "claspers" on either side of the proboscis are used to hold prey while injecting the flesh-dissolving enzyme and sucking out the resultant "soup". DSCF2829.JPG
  6. Very nice image Preston and they are definitely a curious critter. Any bigger and they would be like that cheesy movie about a larvae that runs amok near the Salton Sea .
    Regardless, sounds like they aren't very common and seeing one is pretty cool. I will have to mess around at the bench and see if I can make something to replicate it.
    plaegreid likes this.
  7. Very cool, first time I've seen a pic of one of these. My daughter has a bug book and the one that caught her imagination the most was the toe biter, aka the water scorpion. Apparently they nip toes too. The drawing of the one in the book was a lot more fearsome looking, like on steroids. The real bug looks anorexic but I wouldn't want to be a tadpole around these guys.


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