If you look into the water of virtually any Stillwater you will notice the small beetle-like creatures forever rising to the top only shoot back to the bottom in the wink of an eye. These are not beetles but the Corixa. They are abundant in most Stillwater from the smallest pond to the largest lakes and reservoirs, they are an important food source for the trout and must not be ignored by the angler. Corixidae have extremely fine dark brown or black marking the wings. They have four long rear legs and two short front ones. The hind legs are covered with hairs and shaped like oars, hence the name "water boatman". Their front legs are scoop shaped at the tip. They also have a triangular head with short, triangular mouthparts. Corixidae dwell in slow rivers and ponds, as well as some household pools. Water boatmen are the largest group of aquatic bugs. They are sometimes confused with backswimmers (Hemiptera: Notonectidae) because they have the same general shape. However, backswimmers swim upside down in the water and are coloured with the wings lighter than the leg area
At close range the Corixa is a striking creature, its back is beautifully marked with dark brown or black dashes with bands of gold. It’s air supply (a small bubble on the underside of its abdomen) when at full capacity looks like a bead of mercury held between the legs.
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