Foldscopy of water boatman, a common bug.

During the southern sector sampling from the seagrasses dominated area, sediment samples were collected. We spotted a live organism in water samples and was immediately mounted and observed under foldscope. The organism was identified to be a water boatman.

zooplankton sampling being done in the southern sector of the Chilika lagoon.

The water boatman, a common water bug, is a member of the ‘Corixidae’ family and order Hemiptera. They are found in quite a large number all around the globe and are commonly seen in still or running water such as ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. They are supposed to keep their air bubbles filled so that can breathe underwater as they lack gills like other aquatic animals. They are fond of flying in the artificial lights lit up at night near their residence. Nymph and adult water boatmen are common in ponds, puddles, and other stands of fresh water where they gather aquatic algae with their scoop-shaped legs. They are classified as collector-gatherers because they eat small organic particles that fall to the pond bottom and they spend much time swimming head down to find it. Adult water boatmen are excellent flyers and are able to colonize temporary water sources like birdbaths and troughs. Their eating habits, sometimes, prove to be helpful as they feed on mosquitoes and other dangerous small insects. Water boatmen are preyed upon by a variety of fish, frogs, and aquatic invertebrates, such as water scorpions. The eggs are food for fish and water birds.

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