The Water Strider
By Jesse C.
The water strider is a very cool animal. Most of my information came from the Internet. At the bottom of the page you will see web sites to go to, to see where most of my information came from. In all of the green I copied off of the internet.
The water striderís habitat is on quiet water in small coves or protected ponds and lakes. They can burrow into mud when their habitat drayís up; becoming doormat until the water is replenished. They also go into small streams, like ditches. Where I have found most of the water striders is in all different ditches. . They can burrow into the mud when their habitat dries up; becoming dormant until water is replenished.
Their food other small animals that fall into the surface water. Water striders feed on live and dead insects (insectivorous) and other aquatic organisms. The front legs of water striders are short, modified for grasping and used strictly for capturing prey. The middle and hind legs are long, have claws and are used for darting across the water. As the water strider travels through its environment, it pushes with its middle legs, steers with its hind legs and is able to capture prey with its front legs.
Here are a few facts you may not know about water striders...
Water striders not only glide on still water but are also capable of walking on the surface of running water. Due to their light body weight, a water strider never breaks the waterís surface, and its legs never get wet.
The water striders description is that they move around very quickly. They have six legs and they like to be in little hiding spots. The water strider dose have hair, if you want to see the hair you have to take it out of the water and dry them off. The water strider dose not bite humans. 1/4 - 1/2 inch; long with narrow body; body covered with hairs and dark brown or black in color. Front legs are short to capture food; mid and back legs are long for locomotion on the surface of water. The leg tarsi are covered with fine hairs (hair like setae) that are difficult to wet. Thus the surface tension is very great between the ends of the legs and the water, enabling the insect to "walk on water". Due to this surface tension the striders can be seen making dimples or impressions with the ends of their legs on the water surface. If the hairs become wet due to oil or detergent on the water surface, surface tension is broken and the water strider will sink. Part of adulthood can be spent in a winged stage, enablin igration.
Skating on the water. These insects are neat to watch because they can move so quickly on the water. Watch for them in ponds or quiet water ways, especially in the mid-western United States. On the surface of ponds, lakes and streams where they compete with fish. They have to keep moving so they donít become dinner for the fish themselves.