“Aquatic Caterpillars, Snout Moths”
“Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies”
“Dragonflies and Damselflies”
There are three genera in the family Notonectidae. Notonecta contains 17 species and is the most studied. The group is found across multiple habitats and are considered predators. They swim upside down giving them the nickname of "backswimmers". They feed on the surface or dive down to locate prey. Their bodies are covered with several hairs that trap air allowing them to breath underwater and swim faster.
Southeast: up to 9
Mid-Atlantic: 5 - 9
Piercer / Predator
Widespread (east of the Rocky Mtns.)
Antennae Shorter than Head
Body Convex Dorsally
Long, Oar-like Hind Legs
Swimming Hairs on Legs
+ Expanded Character List
Order: Adults: With or without wings. If wings present, forewings typically leathery or hard basally and translucent and flexible apically. Nymphs: With or without wing pads. Segmented legs present. Mandibles hidden within needle-like beak in adults and nymphs.
Family: The mouthparts are slender, needle-like; the antennae are short and hidden from dorsal view; the body is parallel-sided and at least ¼ inch (5 mm) long; the front legs are slender; the middle and hind legs are fringed with swimming hairs; the hind legs are long and flattened, oar-like; swims upside down.
Genus: Eyes not touching, without a hair-lined pit on hemelytral, antennae 4 segmented