Swimmers, who are in a lazy mood and want to relax, prefer floating on their backs. Did you know that there is a bug that swims on its back? It is called the Backswimmer. It is about 0.13 to 0.63 inches long.
Unlike many other insects who use their wings for this purpose, the backswimmers make use of their hind legs to paddle on their backs. Some of them have hair on their legs which help them to swim. It provides a larger surface area to push against the water.
The hind legs of the bug function like the oars used by the boatmen. Therefore, at times, these bugs are called ‘Great-water Boatmen’ or just boat bugs. They are so smart that they swim on their hind legs and use their front legs to catch prey. They usually feed on small fish, tadpoles and small insects.
After they catch the prey, they use their sharp beaks to pierce its body and suck its juices. At times, the boat bugs even bite humans.
The backswimmers can stay under water for about six hours, by holding air between the wings and the body. They use this air when they go under water.
The backswimmer hibernates throughout winter, much like the polar bear. It buries itself in the mud at the bottom of a stream or pond.