Common Backswimmer (Notonecta glauca)

Length: 1.5cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


These small insects are in fact quite predatory, tackling tadpoles and fish fry. They are also often one of the first insects to colonise a new pond finding a pond ecosystem whilst flying during the night. They spend their time floating on the water’s surface, unless a vibration is detected below the surface. Then they will dive down to investigate, charging at its prey with lightning speed and stabbing it with its ‘beak’, injecting toxic saliva into the wound so it can suck out the contents of the body. The common backswimmer is a grey/brown colour but can appear to look a shade of silver due to the air bubble on its belly and wing-case. They can be found in ponds, ditches and slow moving rivers.