Need help identifying this insect

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alessandro95
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Need help identifying this insect

Postby alessandro95 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

I found a lot of those insects (I suppose that they are insects) living in a fountain and I am curious to know what are they exactly!

Image

That one is the best photo I could take (this one seems to be missing a leg), they live in the water and swim around using the 2 long legs to push themselves, they seem to swim upside-down and to never leave the water, but they briefly get to the surface every now and then. During the day they aren't very active, they mostly hang to some algae that are in the fountain, they are much more active in the evening.

Image
The quality of this photo is pretty bad but you should see them hanging to the algae

Image

I also have this photo, but I don't quite understand what's going on in it so I don't know how helpful it can be!
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Deva
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Re: Need help identifying this insect

Postby Deva » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:17 pm UTC

Guesses a type of Notonecta. Appears to vary in color.

Notonecta1.jpg
Notonecta1.jpg (27.47 KiB) Viewed 1826 times

notonectidae.jpg
notonectidae.jpg (35.76 KiB) Viewed 1826 times


Edit:
Source wrote:During the nymphal stages the colour is a distinctive green, making them easy to spot as they hop around at the bottom of the pond net. The adult insect finally attains the usual brown colouration above and dark brown or black underneath.
Changes its form depending on the observer.

jewish_scientist
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Re: Need help identifying this insect

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:17 pm UTC

They could also be Water Boatman. The most identifiable difference between the two is that Notonecta (Backswimmers) swim on their back, and Corixidae (Water Boatmen) swim on their front. They are both true bugs. It is hard to see which side of your insects are swimming on in the second picture and I cannot tell if the first picture is of a specimen underwater or on land. You may have some trouble finding information about these bugs because in England Notonecta and Corixidae are called Water Boatmen.The way you describe your insects is similar to both Water Boatmen and Backswimmers.

alessandro95 wrote:I found a lot of those insects (I suppose that they are insects) living in a fountain...

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/water-boatmen wrote:People find the occasional stray water boatman in birdbaths and swimming pools, where the insect ends up after a night’s flying excursion.

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/backswimmers wrote:People sometimes find these insects in swimming pools, where the insects end up after the night’s flying excursion.




alessandor95 wrote:...they briefly get to the surface every now and then.

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/water-boatmen wrote:A thin, silvery bubble of air, trapped against the body, functions like a diving bell, enabling the insect to stay for periods underwater.

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/backswimmers wrote:Backswimmers rest at the water surface tilted head-downward, with the abdomen tip protruding from the water.




alessandor95 wrote:During the day they aren't very active, they mostly hang to some algae that are in the fountain, they are much more active in the evening.

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/water-boatmen wrote:People find the occasional stray water boatman in birdbaths and swimming pools, where the insect ends up after a night's flying excursion.

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/backswimmers wrote: Backswimmers can fly and are attracted at night to artificial lights.




alessandor95 wrote:The quality of this photo is pretty bad but you should see them hanging to the algae

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/water-boatmen wrote:To keep themselves from floating back up to the surface, corixids hook one of the shortened forelegs around a plant or other object... Instead, they suck juices from algae, plants and detritus.

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/backswimmers wrote:To keep from floating back to the surface, backswimmers must grasp a plant stem or other object.




alessandor95 wrote:I also have this photo, but I don't quite understand what's going on in it so I don't know how helpful it can be!
If that is one specimen eating an insect...
http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/water-boatmen wrote:Only a few species eat other small aquatic creatures (such as mosquito larvae).

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/backswimmers wrote:Like most other aquatic true bugs, backswimmers prey on other aquatic insects and even small fish and tadpoles—whatever they can subdue.




VERY IMPORTANT

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/water-boatmen wrote:Water boatmen are one of the few aquatic members of this order that are not predaceous and do not bite people.
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