Subject: Strange critters in my pool
Location: Durban, South Africa
November 12, 2013 9:32 am
I’ve got a bit of a problem in my pool at the moment.
I’ve more or less always had these strange 4 legged creatures in my pool, but no more than a dozen or so usually.
4 legged water insect
Stays consistently on the surface of the water (minuscus).
EXTREMELY fast moving across the surface of the water.
Mostly avoids humans. If I walk along the edges of the pool they usually see me and move away.
Very difficult to catch, tried with a pool net, one, they’re fast, two, when I actually catch them, they jump out of the net.
The adults I suppose, are no longer than an inch in length.
I’ve decided to post this because as I said, usually I’d see a dozen or two of them.
Today I went to my pool and I kid you not, I must have seen about 500 to 1000 baby versions of these critters in there. The babies are no bigger than the nail on my pinky finger, and even smaller actually.
I’d to know what they are. So I can do a bit more reading on them, figure out why they’re in my pool, and find a way to remove them.
And I’ve used you’re site successfully before to identify other weird things in my house.
The closest I found while googling was a water scorpion, but if you look at my pictures attached, you will see that these things don’t have any tail of any sort.
Information about Durban. Warm, moderately humid. Summers are 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. Winters are 10 to 20 degrees Celsius.
In summer we do have alotta thunderstorms. Winters are largely dry.
Looking forward for some assistance on the matter.
PS I do photography as a hobby and it pains me that my SLR was dead today so I had to use my cell phone camera instead. I think the photo quality is still good enough for you to inspect the salient characteristics of the bugs.
Thank you and kind regards
Thanks for your thorough account. These are Water Striders in the family Gerridae, and according to BugGuide, they are also called “Pond Skaters, Jesus Bugs, Water Skippers.” They feed on insects that fall onto the surface of the water. If you get your SLR repaired, we would love better photos.