Subject: aquatic insect
Location: No. Yuba River, Sierra County, California
July 21, 2017 10:27 pm
Hi there!
I saw these bugs on top of the river water in a slow side pool. They were skating around like crazy! Looked like there were 100’s of them. I photographed them yesterday on the North Yuba River, in Sierra County , Ca , near the town of Goodyear’s Bar. They are about the size of a small freckle! What the heck are they? Any info would be a great help! Thanks
Signature: Katie O’

Smaller Water Striders

Dear Katie O’,
These are Water Striders in the family Gerridae, and according to BugGuide, they are found on the:  “surface of ponds and slow-moving streams/rivers.”  Your individuals appear to be immature nymphs.  Water Striders feed on small insects that fall onto the surface of the water.

Smaller Water Striders

Hi Daniel!
Thank you so much for ID-ing those crazy bugs!  The mystery is solved!  Water Strider nymphs!  I never would have figured that out on my own!  Thank you so much for your help!
Sincerely,
Katie O’
Update:  October 14, 2018
We just received a comment from Paula indicating these might be Smaller Water Striders in the family Veliidae, also known as Riffle Bugs according to BugGuide, and we agree that her correction is probably accurate.
Location: Yuba River, Sierra County, California

3 Responses to Smaller Water Striders

  1. paula matney says:

    Are you sure these aren’t Veliidae? https://bugguide.net/node/view/26281
    They look more like Veliidae – Riffle Bugs (hind femur not longer than abdomen) than typical water striders – Gerridae. Even Gerridae nymphs have hind femurs longer than their abdomen. Veliidae adults are very tiny (as in the size of a small freckle) and many are wingless as adults.

  2. paula matney says:

    Are you sure these aren’t Veliidae? https://bugguide.net/node/view/26281
    They look more like Veliidae – Riffle Bugs (hind femur not longer than abdomen) than typical water striders – Gerridae. Even Gerridae nymphs have hind femurs longer than their abdomen. Veliidae adults are very tiny (as in the size of a small freckle) and many are wingless as adults.

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