Gerris species - the Water striders, description and pictures - - The Water strider (Gerris lacustris e.a.) Turns out not all small insects can do this - walk and skate on water. They generally prefer places where the water is calm, but you can also see them jerking their way upstream, against a current. All photos and video are copyright of Michael J. Raupp unless otherwise noted. ~ 11 Main St., Dover, NH 03820 ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Cookie Policy ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Privacy Policy ~ Terms Of Service ~ Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. The backswimmer uses its long oarlike legs for propulsion and has an oval-shaped head and an elongated body, generally less than 15 mm (0.6 inch) in length. These fascinating, harmless insects can be found in nearly any aquatic habitat, including ponds, lakes, swamps, ditches, creeks, streams, and rivers. They quickly scatter to individual shelters when alarmed. I love how fast they move, which I didn’t understand. As a group, they have evolved remarkably clever strategies for dealing with the uncertainties of aquatic life. When it is not mating season, they commonly collect in large numbers. They live on ponds and the calm edges of streams. Denno, M.D. The pressure of a leg produces a trough shaped depression (meniscus) on the water surface film, and the surface tension of the water easily supports the weight of the insect. Water striders are predators that specialize in eating land insects trapped on the water’s surface. Water striders belonging to Aquarius, Gerris and Limnoporus frequently exhibit wing dimorphism (Andersen, 1993; Spence and Andersen, 1994). Those utilizing large permanent water sources like lakes may lack wings entirely and forgo the ability to fly, putting their bodily resources into reproduction rather than mobility. The majority of water striders are denizens of fresh water but a few live in brackish waters or truly saline waters of the ocean. There are several species of water striders in North America. Water Strider. The majority of water striders are denizens of fresh water but a few live in brackish waters or truly saline waters of the ocean. Sometimes the first thing you notice are the small round shadows they create on the substrate beneath them, caused by the small dimples their feet make on the surface film of the water. INTRODUCTION. A pump in the head of the water strider sucks the nutrient-rich liquid into the predator’s digestive tract. Water striders mating, probably after coercion. The male mounts the female.

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