Saucer bugs

Also called creeping water bugs, these flat insects have a smooth oval or rounded body. Most are dark brown to black. The front legs are used to catch prey, while the hindlegs are used for swimming.

• LIFE CYCLE Eggs are inserted, in rows, into the stems of aquatic plants.

• OCCURRENCE Worldwide. In ponds, streams, and, occasionally, hot springs.

• REMARK Air from the surface is trapped under the folded wings, helping the bugs stay alive and making them buoyant as they feed underwater.

/lyocoris cimicoides is found in Europe. Despite having fully developed wings, this species rarely, if ever, flies.

front tibiae are curved and sharp

0rder HKMIPTKRA

Family NKIMDAK

No. of species 750

elongated body shape breathing siphon may be as long as body

front legs modified for seizing prey ovaly flattened body breathing siphon water scorpions

I licsc grayish brown or reddish brown bugs are split into two main genera. Nepa species are oval and flattened with fairly short legs while Ranatra species are elongate with relatively long legs. The strong front legs arc modified for catching prey while the other legs are used for walking. There is a long breathing siphon at the end of the abdomen. • LlKK CYCLE Females often lay eggs inside plant tissues. Adults and nymphs may communicate by rubbing the base of their legs against their body to make sounds.

• ()< :< :i RRENi :K Worldwide, especially in warmer regions. In slow-moving streams, ponds, pools, and bogs.

• REMARK Most species have wings but rarely fly.

front legs modified for seizing prey ovaly flattened body

Ranatra linearis, the Water Stick Insect, is typical of the genus Ranatra. It spends much of its time resting in aquatic vegetation, waiting to seize prey.

elongated body shape breathing siphon may be as long as body breathing siphon nei'a cinera has the fairly short legs and oval shape of the genus Nepa. It is found in Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia.

Length yH_iy4jn (i.5-4.8cm)

Feeding habits ^

0rder HKMIPTKRA

Family NOTONKCTIDAK

No. of species 350

Back-swimmers

I he adults of these compact bugs are good fliers. Their upper body surface is typically pale and convex, with a central ridge. The underside, which faces up as they swim, is normally dark brown or black. The front and middle legs are used to catch prey, and the long, hair-fringed hindlegs are used for swimming.

• like Cycle Males make mate-attracting noises by rubbing part of the rostrum against the front legs. Eggs are laid in batches of less than ten at a time, inserted into aquatic plants.

• OCCt 'RRENCE Worldwide. In small pools and ponds, and at the edges of lakes.

notonecta (hauca, the Common Back-swimmer, is widespread in the ponds and ditches of the British Isles. It is sensitive to vibration and uses its large eyes to locate approaching prey.

large, dark, and shiny eyes long hindlegs used for swimming

large, dark, and shiny eyes long hindlegs used for swimming

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