Pool Bug (good backstroke) Central Kentucky Area
Great site! Thanks…if this *critter* is amongst your pages, I’ve missed it. Found in swimming pool, and can range in size from 1/4 in to almost 1/2 in in length. Incredible swimmers, with legs that propel in water very quickly. Don’t think it comes up for air, but could be wrong….can stay submerged for long periods. Very awkward out of water…seems to "flip" around trying to make it’s way back. I’m guessing it’s an immature common insect, but don’t have a clue. Any help in identification would be appreciated
Terry L

Hi Terry,
The reason you couldn’t locate your Backswimmer, Notonecta species, on our site is because it is a first for us. We actually had to make a decision where to put it. We decided the Toe-Biter page was the most appropriate location, and we will expand the scope of the page. Backswimmers are True Bugs and they are torpedo shaped and aquatic, but fly. They propel themselves through the water up-side-down in a jerky erratic manner using the extended and hair-fringed hind legs as oars. Air trapped in abdominal pockets enables them to remain submerged for six hours of inactivity if necessary. Their wings and backs are pale and the undersides are dark which acts as protective coloration while swimming. They are excellent hunters that prey upon insects that get caught in the water, aquatic insects and tadpoles. They have piercing mouthparts and can bite. Thank you ever so much for adding something new to our database.

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2 Responses to Backswimmer

  1. Michelle says:

    I recently got bit by this exact bug, the backswimmer. Any info on bites? Do they go away? Are they harmful? My bite is larger than a quarter and not diminishing in size whatsoever. Very itchy. Thanks!

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