Water Stick Insect aka Long Water Scorpion

Actinia

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We found this whilst pond-dipping at West Canvey Marshes in Essex. I was helping with the children's activities there, so there was not really a good opportunity for a careful set-up. I put the insect into a plastic box to photograph it, and grabbed what shots I could with my Canon PowerShot SX260 HS.

Afterwards I blurred the background to remove the evidence of the plastic pot and the tablecloth underneath!

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Although this is commonly called the Water Stick Insect it is not related to the Stick Insects on land. It is closer to the Water Scorpions, which are true bugs. The other name, which I prefer, is the Long Water Scorpion. This animal was about 5cm (2in) long.
 
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Actinia

Actinia

No longer a newbie, moving up!
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Having downloaded the trial version of Topaz Clean, I thought I'd try it to reduce the background. I first used levels to enphasize contrast in the body, but not in the background, then applied Topaz Clean with the deGrunge preset. The result, I think, is better than the previous version.

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