Subject: UFI – Unidentified Flying Insect
Geographic location of the bug: Park County, Colorado 9300 feet
Time: 05:40 PM EDT
I was draining our water feature yesterday and noticed this bug swimming underwater. Its hind legs were really long, making it a good swimmer. I fished it out of the pond and it flew away pretty quickly. Bright green between the eyes.
Can you ID it? None of the sources I’ve looked at seem to have it. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed: Brad Klafehn
As its name implies, this Backswimmer in the family Notonectidae swims on its back, with its ventral surface up. Your individual looks like the one in this BugGuide posting from a high elevation in California that is identified as Notonecta kirbyi. It is also reported from Colorado according to BugGuide’s data. As you observed, Backswimmers can also fly quite proficiently, which serves them well should the pond they are hunting in dry out. Backswimmers are also called Water Bees or Water Wasps, according to BugGuide, because of their painful bite, a fact many swimmers and waders can confirm.