Water Strider

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

Pond Skater, Water Skipper, Jesus Bug

Water Strider gained their many names thanks to their ability to walk on water. Water Strider have slender, dark bodies (.4-.75 in long) and 8 long, skinny legs. They can be found throughout Canada and the United States on ponds, lakes, or other bodies of slow-moving water.

Water Strider distribute their weight evenly over hairy legs that repel water and trap air, helping to keep the entire body above water. The middle legs push them forward, while the back legs steer. They use their short front legs to sense movement and to grasp insects and small creatures on the water's surface.

Did you know? Water Strider can live for up a year in warmer climates, burrowing under debris along the shore when it's cold.

See Also: Ladybug, Spittlebug, Water Boatman