Body length 12-14 mm. 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.
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.
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs)
Family Corixidae (Water boatmen)
Species Corixa punctata (Illiger, 1807)
Photos: Adult and nymph, garden pond, South Staffordshire. © Peter Hillman