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Tiny Water Bugs

Tiny Water Bugs
Boxborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
May 7, 2006
Size: .6mm
If I squinted hard enough, I could find a bunch of these on the water surface at the edge of a swamp. Could these be the nymphs of Broad-shouldered water striders?

Tarsal segments
The way to tell nymphs from adults in Veliidae is to check out the tarsi of the rear and middle legs. If one-segmented it is a nymph, if two-segmented, an adult. The photos I've taken in this family had a critter 2.5 mm long and I could easily make out the two-segmented tarsi, so I had an adult. With yours at .6 mm I don't know if you can decide about tarsal segments or not.

With those odd-shaped front legs (or rather their odd posture), I am wondering whether this is something other than Veliidae?


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

With this tiny size
I can't blow it up larger, because the image falls apart. We won't get a better view of the tarsi.
It could be something other than Veliidae, but after it being in ID Request for a couple weeks, I placed it in the closest thing in the guide.
Thanks for the info about the nymphs.

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