Subject: Water Striders
Location: Tucquan Glen, Lancaster County PA
October 29, 2013 10:36 am
I read your comment about wishing you had more photographs of water striders. I attached a few shots that I took several weeks ago at Tucquan Glen in Lancaster County PA.
There are two shots of an adult with prey and a group of young individuals. They were not easy to photograph due to their constant motion.
Signature: Melody McFarland
Thanks so much for supplying some additional photos of Water Striders in the family Gerridae for our site. We see from the metadata on the digital image that your photos were taken on September 26, 2013. It appears that the adults do not have wings, so we thought they might be nymphs as well, but your individuals resemble this photo from BugGuide of a member of the genus Trepobates which BugGuide indicates: “Superficially resembles nymphs of Gerris. First antennomere shorter than three others combined.” Water Striders are perfectly adapted for skating across the surface of the water, and according to BugGuide: “fine water-repellant hairs on the underside of the tarsi allow the bug to walk on water’s surface; 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.”
Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to distinguish one species from another or even to definitively determine the correct genus, so our identification might be incorrect. Your photos which illustrate the feeding habits are a marvelous addition to our archive.