water boatman


water boatman
any of numerous aquatic insects of the family Corixidae, having paddlelike hind legs. Also called boat bug.
[1805-15]

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insect
 any of more than 300 species of insects in the true bug order, Heteroptera, that are named for their flat, boat-shaped bodies and long, fringed, oarlike hindlegs. Members of this cosmopolitan family are usually less than 13 mm (0.5 inch) long. They can be found from high elevations in the Himalayas to the lowest parts of Death Valley and in fresh, brackish, and salt waters. The water boatman is lighter than water and generally attaches itself to vegetation at the bottom of a pond or stream and breathes from an envelope of air stored around its body and under its wings. Oxygen inspired by the insect from the bubble is replaced by diffusion from the water, while carbon dioxide expired into the bubble is extracted by dissolution in the water. The insect swims with rapid, jerking movements. The water boatman has an unsegmented, conical beak. When feeding, it scoops up algae and other small organisms with its spoon-shaped, fringed front legs. Eggs are usually deposited on underwater vegetation. Most males have stridulatory organs, rough areas on the forelegs that make a chirping sound when rubbed together. The water boatman does not bite people.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • water boatman — n. any of a family (Corixidae) of hemipterous water bugs that swim about in ponds and streams by vigorous movement of the fringed, oarlike hind legs …   English World dictionary

  • Water boatman — Wa ter boat man (Zo[ o]l.) A boat bug. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Water boatman — Water boatman, as a type of insect, can mean: In the USA, Corixidae: the majority of species are herbivorous, but some species may eat small animals such as tadpoles. They inhabit ponds and slow moving streams, where they swim right way up near… …   Wikipedia

  • water boatman — Boat bug Boat bug (Zo[ o]l.) An aquatic hemipterous insect of the genus {Notonecta}; so called from swimming on its back, which gives it the appearance of a little boat. Called also {boat fly}, {boat insect}, {boatman}, and {water boatman}. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water boatman — /wɔtə ˈboʊtmən/ (say wawtuh bohtmuhn) noun 1. a hemipterous insect of the family Corixidae, members of which swim in fresh water, using their long legs. 2. → water strider …   Australian English dictionary

  • water boatman — noun Date: 1815 1. backswimmer 2. any of various oval flattened aquatic bugs (family Corixidae) of fresh or brackish water with fringed hind legs modified into paddles …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • water boatman — noun carnivorous aquatic bug having paddle like hind legs • Syn: ↑boat bug • Hypernyms: ↑water bug • Member Holonyms: ↑Corixa, ↑genus Corixa …   Useful english dictionary

  • water boatman — noun Any of various aquatic insects of the family Corixidae that have paddle shaped hind legs used for swimming …   Wiktionary

  • water boatman — noun a predatory aquatic bug that swims on its back using its long back legs as oars. [Family Notonectidae.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • water-boatman — n. (Ent.) Boat fly …   New dictionary of synonyms


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