If you look closely at this picture, you’ll spot our #SpeciesOfTheWeek – the Brown Waterscorpion (Ranatra fusca)! Waterscorpions live in ponds and streams, hanging out on aquatic vegetation or right on shore where they like to bask in the sun. Occasionally they dry out their weak wings, which are usually kept flat on their back and mainly used if their home dries up. Waterscorpions are carnivorous stealth hunters (like herons!), lying on vegetation with their face in the water patiently looking for prey with their big eyes. When they spot a potential meal, they use their back legs to push themselves towards it, grab it with their long front arms, and impale it with their needle-like beak – sharp enough to cut human skin! Finally, they season their meal with digestive enzymes, like spiders do! These enzymes partially digest the prey’s tissue, turning it into a bug smoothie! A waterscorpion’s tail has a crucial role in hunting, but it’s very different from what land scorpions use their tails for… it’s actually a breathing tube! They keep a bubble of air between their front legs and abdomen at all times and use their tail to diffuse oxygen. This is why waterscorpions can spend so much time with their faces in the water without running out of air. Interestingly, waterscorpion eggs, which are laid in submerged vegetation or shoreside moss, also have respiratory filaments protruding from them. In the winter, waterscorpions survive under the ice because their metabolism is lowered so much by the cold that the little amount of oxygen they get via diffusion from the water is enough to sustain them. Have you spotted these cool long bugs at the park? Keep an eye out for them along the shore when you’re looking for frogs!
Welcome! Watch this space for upcoming activities.
MINE TOURS AND OTHER PROGRAMSYes…there will be Silver Queen Mine Tours this summer!The park is planning to have guided tours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10am. Sundays will feature the regular Open House at the mine (10am to noon). The first tour will be Canada Day (July 1).Registration for all guided tours will open Monday, June 27. Space is limited so you must pre-register at the gatehouse or call 613-267-5060. Registration is not required for the open houses.ALSO!Evening Programs will be Saturday nights, starting in July. The time will change based on our daylight hours.Snake Talks will be every day at 2pm outside the visitor centre, starting Canada Day.Exploration stations, prop tables, and Kids programs will be advertised the week of on our program boards.Stay tuned for a great summer!
For the latest information on COVID-19 precautions and available amenities at Murphys Point (services, facilities, attractions) during the 2022 season, be sure to check https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/murphyspoint.
Friends are always looking for volunteers