Lesser Water Boatman nymph

Corixa punctata

I built my garden pond this April in the hope I could attract more wildlife to my garden. It has amazed me how in a relatively short space of time life has took hold there and has flourished. Below is a bug, not a beetle, but a bug which is also known as the ‘Common Water Boatman’. I have seen it a few times diving beneath the water of my small garden pond, and finally, today, I have managed to get a few photographs of it. I discovered it is not an adult, but a nymph, and was surprised by its green glasslike appearance. I hope it will stick around so I can see it grow up.

This boatman swims the right way up, instead of upside down on its back like similar species do. The middle and hindlegs are about the same length. The upper body surface is flattened without a central keel, and the underside is pale. Body length 12 to 14mm.

It feeds mainly on plant debris from the bottom of ponds, but also algae and diatoms. They use their hair-fringed front legs to filter through the water. It can fly, and whilst under water it carries bubbles of water under its wings.

It is active all year round, and found in still and slow-moving water like ponds and lakes. Common and widespread.

Photographs taken June 2016, rear garden pond, Staffordshire.

2 thoughts on “Lesser Water Boatman nymph

  1. Interesting read Pete and I’ve never seen a Boatman so close up. I’m always amazed at the ecosystem that a pond brings with it and how, almost out of nowhere these creatures appear in it.

    Last month I was lucky enough to find that I have a newt resident in my pond, although its colour is like no photo that I’ve seen so I’m struggling to figure out if it’s a ‘Smooth’ or ‘Palmate’ newt. Currently I’m leaning towards Smooth as I read they can have some variation in colour. I’m yet to see it again but hopefully if I do it will stick around long enough for me to run in and get my camera for an identity parade!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your interesting comment. Its the first time I have had a pond, and I am amazed how the ecosystem is developing. You must be thrilled with the newt visiting, and I hope you see it again so you can get some photos for an id.

      Liked by 1 person

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