backswimmer

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backswimmer,

common name for water bugswater bug,
name for a large number of water-living bugs, comprising several families of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). All have jointed, sharp, sucking beaks, breathe air, and undergo gradual metamorphosis (see insect).
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 of the cosmopolitan family Notonectidae, so named because they swim upside down, usually near the surface of the water. They have oval bodies and long, oarlike hind legs, with which they swim rapidly, but their backs are more convex than those of the water boatmen. The exposed belly is yellowish to black. Backswimmers, 1-8 to 1-2 in. (3–12 mm) long, feed on small crustaceans, insect larvae, snails, and sometimes on small fish and tadpoles from which they suck the body juices. They can inflict a painful bite on a human being. Most of the 50 North American species overwinter as adults. The eggs are usually laid on submerged plants or rocks and development to the adult stage takes 40 to 60 days. Backswimmers are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Hemiptera, family Notonectidae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A significant higher mean density of backswimmers was found in the littoral (139.9 [+ or -] 17.5 ind.[m.sup.-2]) compared with the limnetic zone (0.05 [+ or -] 0.01 ind.[m.sup.-2]) (Mann-Whitney, U= 0.00,P = 0.00).
In the littoral zone, backswimmers were aggregated in all the sampling dates, with the dispersion index (DI) ranging from 20.7 to 1457.0.
The hypothesis that a higher population densities of notonectids would be found in the littoral zone of the Lake Monte Alegre was confirmed, agreeing with other studies that have shown that backswimmers tend to occupy the littoral zone where aquatic vegetation is abundant (Bennett and Streams, 1986; Bailey, 1987; Gilbert et al., 1999).
Adult backswimmers are not morphologically adapted to feed on small prey (Ellis and Borden, 1970).
Distribution of backswimmers in shallow ponds of Patagonia and their predatory role on a common tadpole-copepod assemblage.
Fluctuations of the backswimmer population, age structure, and spatial distribution were evaluated to detect periods and zones of the lake where predation upon microcrustaceans would be potentially more intense.
The effect of density and temperature on the swimming and aggregating behaviour of the backswimmer, Anisops deanei (Heteroptera:Notonectidae) and subsequent encounter rate with a sit-and-wait predator.
Influence of the predatory backswimmer, Notonecta maculata, on invertebrate community structure.
Some observations on the diet of the backswimmer, Anisops wakefieldi (Hemiptera: Notonectidae).
Summer distribution patterns of the backswimmer, Anisops wakefieldi (Hemiptera: Notonectidae), in a New Zealand pond.
Examples of true bugs are giant water bugs and backswimmers. Maybe we call them all bugs because they "bug" us.
Like backswimmers, water boatmen can be seen swimming under the ice during winter.