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  • Water Strider - (Gerris spp.)

    Water Strider - (Gerris spp.)

    The amazing properties of water and simple physical attributes allow Water Striders to stay afloat, and even move, across a calm aquatic surface.

    Staff Writer (8/1/2017): Long, thin hind legs give Water Striders a slight resemblance to spiders, but they are not related. Mating pairs appear to be a larger, eight-legged Water Strider, which also looks like a floating arachnid. Because water has a high surface tension and the insect has hairy legs, Water Striders are able to coast across the surface without breaking the attractive bonds between each dihydrogen oxide molecule. They can stand still, glide and even skip across water effortlessly. Some species also have wings.

    Females lay fertilized eggs just under the water's surface. Nymphs will molt many times as they grow larger and develop into adults. Both nymphs and adults consume insects and other small creatures that fall into the water nearby. Adults are even known to prey on very young Water Striders and do not seem able to identify their own children. Though they are aquatic predators, they are not a threat to humans.

    Look for Water Striders on still or slow-moving waters such as ponds, puddles, lagoons, streams, creeks, lakes and coves.

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    Details of the:
    Water Strider

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Water Strider
    Scientific Name: Gerris spp.
    Other Names: Pond Skater

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Gerridae
           Genus: Gerris
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 11mm to 16mm (0.43in to 0.63in)

    Identifying Colors: black

    Additional Descriptors: long, skinny, float, aquatic, water, harmless

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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