The amazing properties of water and its simple physical attributes allow a Water Strider to stay afloat and even move across a calm aquatic surface.
Long, thin hind legs give Water Striders a slight resemblance to spiders, but they are not related. Mating pairs may appear to be one large, eight-legged Water Strider (which also looks like an arachnid). Because water has a high surface tension and the insect has hairy legs, a Water Strider is able to coast across the surface without breaking the attractive bonds between each dihydrogen oxide molecule. A Water Strider 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 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. Mosquito larvae are also a food source. 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. They are adept at moving away when the water is disturbed.
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Other Name(s): Pond Skater, Water Skipper, Jesus Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 16mm (0.43in to 0.62in)
Colors: brown, black, ivory
Descriptors: long, skinny, float, aquatic, water, harmless, spider legs
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