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Water striders are any of a number of predatory insects in the family Gerridae. As their name implies, they have a remarkable ability to walk on water using surface tension. They are also known as the Jesus bug, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skater.
The water strider has a three part body (head, thorax and abdomen). They have six jointed legs. The body is long and skinny, and has a dark brown color. The long leg in the middle of the water strider acts as a paddle, which helps the water strider move across the water. the water strider uses its hind legs to move in different directions. They will use their short front legs to catch their prey.
The water striders will eat small insects that have fallen onto the waters surface. One really cool thing about the water strider is that it is very sensitive to motion and vibration. So when the small insect falls on the waters surface the water strider knows where it is because of the vibration. To eat the water strider will push its mouth into the prey an sucks the insect dry.
The male water strider known as the Gerris elongatus will establish a territory and becomes very aggressive with intruders. When defending their territory the males will use their midlegs as a weapons.
The Water Striders live in large to small groups on the surface of any water (ponds, lakes). The adults and the nymphs also inhabits the same areas. The water striders like to live on clean water.
- Aquarius antigone (Kirkaldy) Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
- Water strider by Enchanted Learning