Insect identification > Hemiptera > Back swimmers

Back swimmers

Family Notonectidae. - The back swimmers, as they are termed, live in fresh water. They are small, rarely more than half an inch in length and generally black and cream-colored.

The back has sloping sides something like the bottom of a boat and they swim on their backs, pro­pelling themselves by their long legs which are fringed with hairs.

They occasionally come to the surface for air, a supply of which they carry down with them under their wings and between the fine hairs covering the underside of the body.

They are carnivorous, feeding on other small insects, but are of little importance.