Backswimmer or water boatmen, Notonectidae

Backswimmer or water boatmen

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Backswimmer or water boatmen

Water boatmen are aquatic bugs that have theire
hindlegs adapted as paddles for swimming.
They stick to the surface and hunt by using
theire great red compound eyes to scan for
movement: fishes, insects and fingers!
As you might already have guessed they
swim on their backs. They are also
good flyers.

Flying backswimmers

Backswimmers are really good flyers that can
fly long distances to another pond. So they
have wings and can leap out of the water
and take flight. But on the land they are helpless.

Backswimmer in the pond

Backswimmers can get abundant in a pond or
swimmingpool, and are hard to control.
Lucky this problem can be easy solved the
biological way: buy a pumpkinseed sunfish
(Lepomis gibbosus) or "pond perch",
"common sunfish", "punkys", and "sunny".
They are fond on backswimmers and eat them all!
But buy only buy one, not two, as they don't
have any problem in producing offspring.

Backswimmer or water boatmen in the pool

Backswimmers do bite. The easiest way to
get rid of backswimmers is to add cholorine
to youre swimming pool: use a level of 4 ppm
or even more for two weeks:
The backswimmers will feel unhappy, fly away
and have a great time in youre neighbours pool.

Lesser and greater water boatman

Altough they have an almost simular name and appearance, they are not related.
The lesser waterboatman swim on its fronts.
The lesser waterboatman is herbivores and
lives mainly on the bottom of the pond,
and is brown or golden in color.
The greater waterboatman or backswimmer
sticks to the surface and have a
keel-shaped back.

the air bubble of the backswimmer

Like the atmosphere, the bubble contains primarily
both oxygen and nitrogen, the oxygen is used and
transformed in carbondioxide that dissolves in
the water. So the nitrogen ratio in the air bubble
will increase, pushing the nitrogen to dissolve
in the water by diffusion. But there will also
be as little oxygen from the water that will
diffuse into the airbubble, the airbubble will
act as a physical gill.
In the end, this process will shrink the
airbubble and forces the water boatmen to
return to the surface.
This explains why the air bubble
becomes smaller, but also why backswimmers needs
oxygenrich water. There has been scientific
research done by Roger Seymour of the University
of Adelaide in South Africa and Stefan Hetz
from Humboldt University in Germany,
who measured oxygen in the air bubble of diving spiders.

    backswimmer of greater water boatman, adult.
    The oarlike hind legs are fringed with fine hairs that aid in propulsing used for the swimming.

    A beautiful photo made by Jaap Costo Budde the water boatman, and its predator, the mudfish. large, red compound eyes

    Backswimmers are helpless if they landed on the dry land.

    Water Scater, backswimmer and Water scorpion, feeding on a stickelback.

    bugs or Heteroptera

    On this website you will find:
    te vinden:
    water stick insect or Ranatra linearis
    Green shield bug
    water scorpion
    water boatman