Subject: Stick insect like thing
Location: Pond, England, Surrey ,Guildford
April 25, 2015 2:25 am
I was wondering if you could help me with a discovery that I found in my pond. I was clearing out duck weed when I found what I can only describe as a stick insect running across the water. It is about 2cm long and it has 6 legs and 2 antennae on a long thin body.
I have searched lots and lots of websites but I still cannot find out what it is.
Signature: From katie wright age 12

Water Scorpion

Water Strider or Water Scorpion???

Dear Katie,
This is a predatory, aquatic True Bug, and at first we thought it was in the family Nepidae whose members are commonly called Water Scorpions as they will deliver a painful, though not dangerous bite if they are carelessly handled.  When we reread your submission, we realized you stated it was  “running across the water.”  We apologize for the error, but since it was on top of the water, it is more likely a Water Strider in the family Gerridae.  We wish your images had greater detail.

Correction:  Water Measurer
Thanks to a comment we received, we now know that this is a Water Measurer in the family Hydrometridae and we learned on BugGuide that they are found “on emergent/floating vegetation along edges of ponds, marshes, and pools of slow-moving streams”
and that they feed upon “newly emerged, slow-moving, dying, or dead invertebrates (midges, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, ostracods, springtails, etc.)”  BioImages UK has some nice images.

Thank you sooooooo much I am really really pleased that you found out what it was. I can’t believe how good you were at identifying. If someone ever poses a question like that to me I will definately recommend you. I will ask my mum if I can make a donation

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Location: Guildford, Surrey, England

2 Responses to Water Measurer from England

  1. sccabrian says:

    Hi guys, I can certainly see the resemblance to Gerridae and Nepidae, but I believe that this is more than likely a Hydrometridae more commonly called the water-measurers. The length of the head, positioning and length of the antennae, and position of the eyes at the sides like that give it away. They’re definitely cool little guys, and that’s a great picture!

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