Great Water beetle, Dytiscus marginalis, larva.

Great Water beetle, Dytiscus marginalis, larva.

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The larva of the Great Water beetle, Dytiscus marginalis. The larvae are voracious carnivores, ambushing their prey rather than deliberately hunting it. They 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. This specimen was 5cm long.

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Keywords: animal, beetle, dytiscus marginalis, great water, great water beetle larva, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, nature, wildlife, zoology

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