Larva of the Great Water beetle

Larva of the Great Water beetle

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head of the aquatic larva of the Great Water beetle, Dytiscus marginalis, showing the fangs, which pierce and hold its prey. The larvae are voracious carnivores, ambushing their prey rather than deliberately hunting it. The larvae strike their victims with the same action as a snake using similar hollow fangs, seen here, to capture the prey. The larva has no poison to immobilize the victim, only digestive juices. These work extremely slowly, which means the victim can tow the larva around for a long time while its own life is slowly being sucked away.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, dytiscus marginalis, head, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, mandible, mouthpart, mouthparts, nature, wildlife, zoology

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