lesser water boatman

7:51 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Into It: Lesser Water Boatman

The lesser water boatman is known for its male mating call.
Credit Piet Spaans / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The lesser water boatman is an insect usually found feeding on ponds and lakes across Europe. Only a few millimeters long, they look a bit like a sunflower seed with big black eyes and paddling arms.

They're not known for their good looks, but rather the male's mating call, which brings them the status of the loudest animal alive, relative to body size. The call is nearly 100 decibels, equivalent to standing a stone's throw away from a roaring freight train.

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