Despite their name, water scorpions (family Nepidae–order Hemipetra) are not a type of scorpion at all. They are in fact, a type of bug. Scorpions have powerful pincers, and water scorpions are named after their large pincer-like forelegs that they use to catch prey in the water. Water scorpions also have long tails that stick out behind the body and look a bit like a scorpion's tail. Unlike a scorpion, the insect does not use its tail as a stinger. Instead, this “tail” made up of two attached respiratory tubes is extended above the surface of water, allowing the animal to take in air. A water scorpion hangs upside down with its “tail” poking out through the surface.
Found world-wide, water scorpions live mainly among the bottom edges of ditches and muddy ponds, where they hide among dead, water-logged leaves and other plant remains in order to catch prey.