Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Aquatic bug nymph ID


Was searching for mosquito fish and came across this weird nymph like bug in the marsh. It's 3" long and has 6 legs with partial looking wings that are visible in the attachment.

I found him in central florida on the gulf coast in a flood marsh. He didn't look like any dragonfly nymph i've seen, and is a good deal larger. Very slow swimming and was floating on top of the water.

The water is full of Mayfly's, Dragonflies, Giant Water Bugs, and Water Scorpions.

Dear Sam - This appears to be a rather unusual dragonfly nymph. It likely is Aphylla williamsoni in the family Gomphidae. see http://tinyurl.com/l9jv3bg for an image of an exuvium (shed 'skin'). Known as the two-striped forceptail, it has the last abdominal segment modified into a very long breathing tube.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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