National Geographic : 1970 Aug
Snorkeling scorpion Innocent looking as a dead twig, the patient water scorpion hangs beneath the pond's surface and breathes through a tail-like snorkel (below). Two groovedfilaments bound together by interlocking bristlesform the tube. Water-repellent hairs at the tip keep the opening in the surfacefilm clear of liquid. The water scorpion'spowerful forelegs (bottom), similar to those of the praying mantis, capture passing insects and even small tadpoles. Parasiticlarvae of the red water mite (page 297) find security on the scorpion's legs. Beetle with built- in bifocals keeping watch on both 15 TIMESLIFE-SIZE Beetle with built-in bifocals K domains, each of the whirligig beetle's eyes 7TIMESLIFE-SIZE is divided into two half-circles-the upper adapts to air, the lower to subsurface conditions. The beetle's water-repellent upper body helps keep it afloat as it darts and circles after insects caught in the surfacefilm. Occasionally the whirl igig dives for the bottom, carrying air beneath its wings and in a bubble at the tip of its abdomen (right). This bubble acts as a gill, absorbing oxygen from water for the submerged beetle.