Name: Backswimmer

Scientific name: Notonectidae

Category: Minibeasts

Nature Stars: 40

What are nature stars?

About: There are four species of Notonecta backswimmer in the UK, all of which are fairly widespread and common. They swim upside down through the water, often near the surface, where they grab insects that have fallen onto the water surface. They are active predators, hunting many smaller invertebrates, tadpoles and even small fish. They are about 1.5cm long.

How to identify: The various species of backswimmer can be told from each other by the patterns on their wings. They are easily told from water boatmen by their boat-like shape, swimming upside down.

Where: Widespread

Natural Superpowers

  • Predator: 80
  • Agility: 60
  • Rarity: 30
  • Cute factor: 40
  • Traveller: 30

Fantastic fact: Backswimmers can be found in almost any water body, including open water butts and water tanks.

Photograph credit: Dr Malcolm Storey

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