It lives in ponds and stagnant water and feeds upon aquatic animals, especially insects. It does not possessa sting nor pincers but has a breathing tube which looks like a tail and elongated arms which act as a means of catching food, although they cannot pinch very hard at all.
Respiration in the adult is effected by means of the caudal process, which consists of a pair of half-tubes capable of being locked together to form a siphon by means of which air is conducted to the tracheae at the apex of the abdomen when the tip of the tube is thrust above the surface of the water. In immature forms the siphon is undeveloped and breathing takes place through six pairs of abdominal spiracles. The eggs, laid in the stems of plants, are supplied with seven filamentous processes which float freely in the water.