Common Name(s): Lesser Water Boatman
Water boatman are the largest group of aquatic true bugs. Adults are relatively small in size and soft, somewhat flattened bodies that are elongated in shape. An identifying feature of water boatman are the scoop or oar-shaped hind legs. These hind legs allow them to swim on water.
Water boatman are sometimes confused with backswimmers (Hemiptera: Notonectidae) because they have the same general shape. However, water boatman do not swim upside down like backswimmers do.
Water boatman are common in ponds, as well in streams and sometimes brackish pools along the seashore or swimming pools. Water boatman are non-predatory and feed on aquatic plants and algae with straw-like mouthparts. They are considered beneficial because they are an important part of fish diet and medically harmless.
Origin and Distribution
Found worldwide and throughout North America in virtually any freshwater habitat
Eggs – nymph – adult
Eggs are cemented to underwater objects, sometimes forming a dense mat.
ManagementIf you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.
None, these are considered beneficial insects