The Tiny, Tiny Water Boatmen

30 March 2012
The Water Boatman (Notonectidae) is also known as a backswimmer, precisely because they swim upside down on their backs. These tiny swimmers are not often noticed, as they swim underwater, unlike water striders and fishing spiders which skim across the water surface. The water boatman has a pair of powerful hind legs with long hairs modified for swimming – much like how humans use their legs in the breast stroke.

    Water Boatman (Notonectidae) - DSC_5132
  1. Water Boatman (Notonectidae) busy with it’s backstroke. At the same time, it has captured a prey with it’s fore legs!

  2. Water Boatman (Notonectidae) - DSC_5138
  3. Seemed to be having fun gliding beneath the surface?

  4. Water Boatman (Notonectidae) - DSC_5139
  5. Hairy hind legs slightly more visible in this picture

  6. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_5052
  7. A grumpy-faced crab spider (Strigoplus sp.). Didn’t look particularly excited to see us

  8. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_5053
  9. The abdomen was surprisingly colourful with tints of red, yellow and brown

  10. DSC_5057
  11. Always wanted to get a nice shot of this horny pair, but alas they flew off before I could get a better shot ūüėõ

  12. DSC_5063
  13. Beetle with lovely antennae

  14. Golden Comb-footed Spider (Meotipa sp.) - DSC_5081
  15. Comb-footed spider (Meotipa sp.) with transparent abdomen

  16. Golden Comb-footed Spider (Meotipa sp.) - DSC_5087
  17. It has this habit of flattening it’s body on the underside of a leaf. Their way of taking cover perhaps?

  18. Comb-footed Spider (Theridiidae) with Pseudoscorpion - DSC_5099
  19. Found this beautiful but super tiny crab spider (Moneta sp.) with a prey

  20. Comb-footed Spider (Theridiidae) with Pseudoscorpion - DSC_5103
  21. On closer inspection, the prey was a Pseudoscorpion! These guys are usually about 2-3mm long, so that gives us an idea on the size of the spider.

  22. Comb-footed Spider (Theridiidae) with Pseudoscorpion - DSC_5118
  23. Front view showing the Pseudoscorpion in detail

  24. Japanese Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) - DSC_5142
  25. Practice shot of a tiger beetle. Probably a Cicindela aurulenta.

  26. Ant-mimic Crab Spider (Amyciaea lineatipes) - DSC_5147
  27. Ant-mimic Crab Spider (Amyciaea lineatipes) dangling on it’s web

  28. Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) - DSC_5155
  29. Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) often found in a massive, complicated web but this time it was out. Once we approached it, the big fella tried to play dead

  30. Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) - DSC_5156
  31. Spinning on it’s web

  32. Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) - DSC_5177
  33. Still spinning, felt like a circus act

  34. Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) - DSC_5170
  35. Landed on a green leaf, but didn’t think it would be comfortable there

  36. Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) - DSC_5188
  37. Finally settled down on a brown leaf. These spiders usually like to hide under a dead leaf in the middle of it’s web

The complete album can be viewed here.



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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