Spring is just around the corner. It was 70 degrees and pleasant today. Many people were walking around, enjoying the weather. I decided to check out a vernal pool where frogs and salamanders will soon be migrating to. Since it is fishless, it’s a good place for the amphibians to lay their eggs. Although I didn’t see any frogs or salamanders, an insect skimming across the water caught my eye.
Water Striders are able to skate on top of water due to a combination of several factors. They use the high surface tension of water and their long legs (which give them an even distribution of weight) to help them stay above water. New research reveals the Water Strider’s legs are covered with microscopic hairs that trap tiny air bubbles, allowing the insect to simply float.
These insects live on the surface of ponds, slow streams, marshes, and other quiet waters. They have very good vision and move quickly on the water. The short front legs of a Water Strider are for grabbing prey (often mosquitoes, their larva and other small insects).
Water Striders can live for many months and adults can overwinter. They crawl inside plant stems and seek other forms of shelter when it gets cold. Other common names for Water Striders are: water bugs, magic bugs, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers, water spiders and Jesus bugs.