Lurk some pretty cool minibeasts - Sydney the Silver Water Beetle (Above) and Eddy the Emperor dragonfly nymph (below)














We’ve just restocked the aquarium at the South Essex RSPB Visitor Centre and we’ve got some amazing creatures for you to discover.

Sidney, as he is known to some of his friends, swims under the stage name of “Silver Water Beetle” or Hydrus piceus. He’s name is taken from the air he traps under his shell which gives him a silvery look below. He mainly eats plant debris but has been known to attack pond snails. He may look harmless but beware of the spine below his thorax, which could spike your finger. Sydney is the size of a satsuma but can still hide away so well among the rocks and plants, that it can take us hours to find him.

Our other lurking giant in the tank is a Emperor dragonfly nymph. You might not be able to tell from the picture but this guy is even bigger than Sydney and is fast eating all our sticklebacks. He is a ferocious predator and will spend most of his life in this nymph(up to two years), only emerging into the stunning dragonfly form for a few weeks in the warmer months.

There’s lots more wildlife in the tank beside our two giants. Why not pop down this weekend to discover the secrets of our wetland tank and see what you can find?