Water bug of some sort
April 12, 2010
On my hiking trip to Eastern Samaria (north-east of Jerusalem, Israel) on April 9-10, 2010 I came across this hemipteran. There were lots of them skating on the water of a spring, but they don’t look like water striders and I wasn’t able to find out what they are. Any ideas?
Eastern Samaria, Israel
Hi again Ben,
BugGuide lists two families in the Infraorder Gerromorpha that includes the Water Striders that look like good possibilities. Based on the photos on BugGuide, our first guess would be a Broad Shouldered Water Strider in the family Veliidae. Other names for these insects are Riffle Bugs and Ripple Bugs, and they are described as having a “pronotum broader than abdomen (as reflected in the common name); hind femur not longer than abdomen; pre-apical tarsal claws; usually wingless and dark-colored, sometimes with silvery markings.” The other possibility is the family Mesoveliidae, the Water Treaders, which BugGuide describes as being “Found on aquatic vegetation or running on the surface of the water. Fairly common around ponds.”