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Mystery Picture Answers

No. 15

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A species of Lesser Water Boatman.  There are over 30 species of Lesser Water Boatmen which are found in Britain.  These aquatic insects are very diverse and can be found in a variety of freshwater ponds and lakes.  They have widely varying diets from detritus (dead organic material) to living plants and small animals.  They are bugs, which means that they have a device called a rostrum which is used to pierce and suck up their food.  As their name suggests, water boatmen are good swimmers, using their back pair of powerful oar-like legs to propel themselves through the water.  Unlike Greater Water Boatmen which swim on their backs, Lesser Water Boatmen all swim on their fronts.  They lay their eggs underwater on stones and plants, and are predated upon by other bugs and fish.  Lesser Water Boatmen have wings and can fly!


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