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Biology

The water boatman is a highly effective predator; it tends to stay motionless at the surface until it detects movements in the water, it then swims towards the source of the movement, and hunts by sight when it is close to its prey. This bug has toxic saliva and can inflict a very painful bite. A wide range of aquatic prey is taken, and they can tackle items as large as tadpoles and small fish (3). Although mating may take place from December to late May, females typically lay their eggs between early February and early May. The eggs are embedded in plant stems. Bugs undergo a type of development known as incomplete metamorphosis in which the larvae undergo a series of moults. The stages between moults are known as 'instars'; there are 5 instars in this species, and it takes 2 months for water boatman larvae to become adults (3).

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Source: ARKive

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