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Gerridae - Rhagovelia - male - female

Gerridae - Rhagovelia - Male Female
Fort de Soto Park, Florida, USA
January 14, 2015
There was a good sized swarm of these small striders on a brackish coastal lagoon. I am looking for better pictures, but they were really skittish and active and skittered away the instant I tried to approach them.

Images of this individual: tag all
Gerridae - Rhagovelia - male - female Gerridae - Rhagovelia - male - female Gerridae - Rhagovelia - male - female Gerridae - Rhagovelia - male - female

IF Rhagovelia, then Veliidae
Difficult to see good characters here; Brady could be correct, but some show colors which Rhagovelia plumbea would not have. If it is a Rhagovelia, then it is in family Veliidae, NOT Gerridae. Could be some Rheumatobates (family Gerridae) mixed in here - or they are all Rheumatobates. The usual excuse offered: need better, closer shots! :-) See also 1039369 ...

Yeah wish I had a net with me
I added another image showing a good variation in one picture if that helps.

Moved from ID Request.

Veliidae, actually
I strongly suspect Rhagovelia plumbea, based on the few details I can make out plus the locality. Interesting that there are so many mating pairs in this photo. Did you capture any or did you have clearer photos of the adults. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Did try!
Couldn't get any closer, was trying to capture some with a plastic box but had no chance.

Any details that would help with ID? I have about 20 other pictures but all virtually identical to this one. All the larger adults (~40) were in mated pairs, couldn't see any exceptions.

They were very fast and swirled in circles like whirligig beetles, though perhaps this was because of a mating event or such?

That was just normal behavior. A clear shot of any adult would confirm the ID, although I'm almost positive you have Rhagovelia plumbea. Rhagovelia can be just as frustrating to catch as whirligig beetles. I studied gyrinids for my MS thesis and from a distance, I often confused aggregates of Rhagovelia for whirligigs. The best way to catch either is with a good net and using a lot of patience. That's interesting that there were so many mating pairs. I should point out that I'm envious -- I've never personally caught that species.

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