SJ8957 : Backswimmer or Water Boatman

taken 7 years ago, near to Biddulph, Staffordshire, Great Britain

Backswimmer or Water Boatman
Backswimmer or Water Boatman
This aquatic invertebrate is a member of the Notonectidae family of which there are four British members, the name Backswimmer comes from them swimming upside down just under the surface of the water, Water Boatman comes from the boat-like shape of the body and with the two long hind legs giving the appearance of oars. They need to spend time near the surface to obtain air due to them being "bubble-breathers" (meaning that they will surround themselves with an air bubble and this needs replenishing frequently), their swimming attitude is dependant on the light source and not gravity- if they are placed in an aquarium with light coming from below they will still swim at the surface but will be the right way up.They are very fierce bugs that will attack small fish, tadpoles and other insects, Backswimmers are also very strong flyers. This particular specimen was in a stagnant pool near the top of Biddulph Valley and was approximately 1cm in length.
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SJ8957, 127 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Thursday, 17 June, 2010   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 17 June, 2010
Category
Insects > Insects   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 890 576 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:6.9441N 2:9.9030W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 890 576
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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