Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Do Waterbugs Have Wings?

i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

There are all sorts of waterbugs, including the giant waterbug and the water scorpion. Some species of waterbugs have wings, while others don’t. For instance, a water boatman does not have wings. He has oar-shaped feet that are sometimes mistaken for wings. Both a water scorpion and a backswimmer do have wings.

Identifying Waterbugs with Wings

True waterbugs are classified under the order Hemiptera. Many aquatic hemiptera insects, such as water scorpions, are also classified under the sub-order heteroptera. The sub-order heteroptera has distinguishable wings. Water scorpions, and other insects belonging to the sub-order heteroptera, have two sets of wings. The top wings are called anterior wings and provide stiff protective cases for the posterior wings underneath. Wings can also be identified by color. For example, the backswimmer has light brown wings.