water strider

water strider
any of several aquatic bugs of the family Gerridae, having long, slender legs fringed with hairs, enabling the insects to dart about on the surface of the water.

* * *

also called  pond skater , or  skimmer 
 any insect of the family Gerridae (order Heteroptera), which numbers about 350 species. Water striders, often seen running or skating in groups over the surface of a pond or stream, are slender, dark coloured, and generally more than 5 millimetres (1/5 inch) long.

 With their short front legs they capture insects that fall onto the water surface. In crowded conditions water striders have been known to prey on each other. The middle and hind pairs of legs are long, sometimes more than twice the length of the body. The middle pair is used for propulsion, and the hind pair is used for steering. The feet (tarsi) are covered with fine, water-resistant hairs that enable the insect to remain on the water surface. Often two forms of the adult occur in the same species; one wingless, the other winged. Occasionally a third form with short wings appears.

      Gerris is a cosmopolitan genus of this family. All water striders live in fresh water except those of the genus Halobates, which are considered the only true salt-water-inhabiting insects. They have been seen many miles from land on tropical and subtropical ocean surfaces, feeding on the fluids of dead, floating animals.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • water strider — n. any of an insect eating family (Gerridae) of usually slender bodied hemipteran insects, having long legs with which they glide swiftly on the surface film of calm waters, esp. of ponds and streams …   English World dictionary

  • water strider — noun long legged bug that skims about on the surface of water • Syn: ↑pond skater, ↑water skater • Hypernyms: ↑water bug • Hyponyms: ↑common pond skater, ↑Gerris lacustris …   Useful english dictionary

  • water strider — noun Any of a number of predatory insects in the family Gerridae, which rely on surface tension to walk on top of water. Syn: pond skater, water scooter, water skater, water skimmer …   Wiktionary

  • water strider — noun Date: 1888 any of various long legged bugs (family Gerridae) that move about on the surface of the water …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • water strider — wa′ter strid er n. ent any of several aquatic bugs of the family Gerridae, having long, slender legs fringed with minute hairs, enabling the insects to dart about on the surface of the water • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • water strider — /ˈwɔtə straɪdə/ (say wawtuh struyduh) noun any of the hemipterous insects constituting the family Gerridae, having long, slender legs, and darting about on the surface of water; pond skater …   Australian-English dictionary

  • water strider — noun North American term for pond skater …   English new terms dictionary

  • smaller water strider — ▪ insect also called  Ripple Bug, or Broad shouldered Water Strider        (the latter name derives from the fact that the body, widest at the middle or hind legs, tapers to the abdomen, giving the impression of broad shoulders), any of the… …   Universalium

  • Strider — can refer to: * Strider is the standard English title of Leo Tolstoy s novella Kholstomer * Strider, an alias of Aragorn, a character from The Lord of the Rings **Strider, a pony named after Aragorn by Frodo, in The Lord of the Rings *Strider,… …   Wikipedia

  • Water treader — Water treaders Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”