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Family Gerridae - Water Striders

Water Strider Mating water striders - Aquarius remigis - male - female Water striders on lily pad - Neogerris hesione - male - female Water Strider tiny water strider Water Strider water strider Gerridae - Rheumatobates vegatus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Gerromorpha (Semiaquatic Bugs)
Superfamily Gerroidea
Family Gerridae (Water Striders)
Other Common Names
Pond Skaters, Jesus Bugs, Water Skippers
46 spp. in 8 genera in our area(1), ca. 750 spp. in ~70 genera worldwide(2)
3-16 mm [worldwide, 1.6-36+ mm(2)]
hind femur longer than abdomen (not longer than abdomen in other gerromorphans)
worldwide and throughout NA(1)(3)
surface of temporary or permanent ponds, and slow-moving areas of streams and rivers
year-round in the south; whenever water is not frozen in the north
small living or dead insects on the water surface
fine water-repellant hairs on the underside of the tarsi allow the bug to walk on water's surface(4)
only the mid- and the hind legs are used for locomotion; they are attached to large coxae connected to the sides of the thorax and are unfit for walking on land(5)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Biodiversity of the Heteroptera
Henry T.J. 2009. In: Foottit R.G., Adler P.H., eds. Insect biodiversity: Science and society. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell: 223-263.
3.Australian Faunal Directory
4.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.
5.Evolution of the Insects
David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel. 2005.