Notonectidae

Pronunciation:  [No⋅to⋅NEC⋅ti·dae]

Common Name:  Backswimmers

Description:  Backswimmers are easy to recognize due to their specialized way of swimming upside down. The hind legs are long and lack tarsal claws. The dorsal side of the backswimmer is convex and darker than the ventral side. These insects are predaceous and pursue their prey by sneaking under the victim’s body and sucking on their body fluids.

Spot ID Key Characters:

  1. Keel-shaped dorsal side is silvery-white
  2. Tibia and tarsi of hind legs bear a fringe of long hairs as an adaptation for swimming
  3. Hind legs lack claws

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Order:  Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera