Definition of backswimmer in US English:



  • A predatory aquatic bug that swims on its back using its long back legs as oars. It is able to capture large prey such as tadpoles and fish.

    Family Notonectidae, suborder Heteroptera: Notonecta and other genera

    See also water boatman
    • ‘Holding its pale back away from the sunlight makes the backswimmer harder for predators to spot.’
    • ‘Adult and larval backswimmers eat smaller animals in the water including bloodworms and aquatic larvae.’
    • ‘From time to time the backswimmer will surface to empty and refill these chambers with a fresh supply of air.’
    • ‘She pointed out damselfly larva, water beetles, tadpoles, backswimmers, dragon fly larva and snails as they circled around in our tiny sample of the marsh.’
    • ‘These fairy shrimps and backswimmers constitute the majority of the macroinvertebrates captured in these ponds.’