Familia Notonectidae Latreille, 1802

Family NOTONECTIDAE Latreille, 1802 - backswimmers

J.T. Polhemus

The family contains 11 genera and about 346 species, distributed worldwide. All species are predaceous generalists, locating prey visually or by surface ripples, feeding on amphipods, arthropods, small fishes, and any other creature they can catch and subdue. Most species live in lentic habitats or the quiet parts of streams. Most Anisopinae (Wilcox, 1975) and some other genera possess stridulatory mechanisms (J.T. Polhemus, 1994b). They overwinter as eggs or adults. Eggs are laid in or on aquatic plants or debris. Some species of Anisopinae and Nychiini are wing-dimorphic; the flightless forms are submacropterous with reduced hind wings.

World catalogue: none. World overview: Truxal, 1979. Palaearctic catalogue: J.T. Polhemus, 1995g. Monographs: Hungerford, 1934; Kirkaldy, 1897d, 1904a (outdated); Lansbury, 1968a (generic key). Faunal reviews: Africa - Poisson, 1966a; China - Liu & Zheng, 1989, 1991a; Czech Republic - Papá…ek, 1991. Biology: Essenberg, 1915; Giller, 1986; Giller & McNiell, 1981; Hoppe, 1911; Parsons, 1971; Rice, 1954; Walton, 1935, 1943b.