Subject:  Interesting bug
Geographic location of the bug:  New Windsor, New York
Date: 11/03/2017
Time: 02:46 PM EDT
I was standing outside of my car this after noon, Nov 3, 2017, and this odd looking insect landed on the roof of my car.  It looked like a class of beetle, but other than that I’m not sure.  It looked like it could use it’s rear legs to sense the environment around it as it had very fine hairs, almost painbrush like in appearence as it waved them around.  I manged to get some pictures of it, and I hope they help to identify this unique insect.  I have never seen anything like it and I would love to know more.
How you want your letter signed:  Respectfully, Jesse Trusceo


Dear Jesse,
This is a Backswimmer, an aquatic predator that is also capable of flight.  According to BugGuide:  “hind legs modified for swimming, with long hairs.”  Though they are somewhat clumsy on land, they are adroit swimmers.


2 thoughts on “Backswimmer”

  1. Notonectids and many other aquatic bug and beetle families will land on cars. The shiny surfaces probably make the critter think it’s actually water. Your specimen is Notonecta irrorata. You can tell by the irrorate pattern on the hemielytra and the dark splotch on the pronotum.

    • Thank you so much for providing this wonderful information. The shiny surface of a car does resemble the surface of a pond. Thankfully this mistake on the part of the insect does not have the same dire consequences as when a bird flies into a reflective window. Additionally, we had to research the meaning of “irrorate” which is a zoological term meaning “like sand” or “speckled with color” and we will have to make sure we use the vocabulary term today in our daily life.


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