What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Aquatic transformer bug…?
July 10, 2010
I found a bug very similar to Jason’s (of Folsom) bug. Only, mine was a bit fatter. It was the exact same circumstances too. I had just shocked my pool.
I found it coming out of one of the filters. I swam about with two long legs, almost like how a frog swims. I thought to myself, “how the heck is this thing living?” Like Jason said, it must have had a serious chlorine tolerance. I scooped it out of the pool promptly. It started to kinda writhe around and then began to try to walk with its two long legs. Then it stopped, like it gave up. I thought it had died, but to my amazement, it tucked its two long legs into itself, and its back sprouted wings, like how a lady bug does! It didn’t fly very fast. It actually looked drunk. I guess it sniffed out the pool, because I watched it fly right back into it. As soon as it was underwater again, it tucked its wings back in, and shot out its two long “frog” legs, and swam away.
I swear to you that this is completely true. At first I almost thought it was an alien. This was 3 days ago, and I’ve been searching the pool since to try to get a photo or video, but I can’t find it again. Please let me know if you have any idea. I want to know if I can let my kids swim in the pool again.
Santa Cruz, CA


Dear Baffled,
The insect in your photo is a Backswimmer in the family Notonectidae.  Backswimmers are aquatic insects that can fly from one body of water to another.  Since there are probably not many other insects to prey upon in your pool, we suspect that the hungry Backswimmer has probably relocated to more fruitful hunting grounds.  Backswimmers, because they are capable of delivering a painful bite, are sometimes called Water Bees or Water Wasps according to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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