Water Boatman illustration

This insect's body is shaped like a boat, perfect for swimming. Its long, flattened hind legs make excellent paddles. The bug is actually dark colored, but an envelope of air used as its oxygen supply sometimes makes it appear silvery. This air also makes it hard for the insect to stay submerged. It has to grab onto plants or other objects to stay underwater. The water boatman feeds on oozy algae or dead plants and animals, which it scrapes toward its sucking beak with its front feet. The male attracts a female with a chirping sound made by rubbing his front feet against his beak and opposite leg. Aren't you glad we don't do that?