killer that walks on the water
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This winter in Poland was long and frosty. For me also full of duties and work. Now the spring is bursting out. Time to go out to the field and look for some objects to photograph. One of the first I found was this water strider. I'm very glad as I managed to take it for the very first time! Early spring is a good time to photograph these insects. Usually they are very fast and get easily startled. But when the water and air temperatures are still low they can be approached much easier.|
Gerris sp. - water strider
There are altogether some 500 species of Gerridae over the world. One of the most prominent is genus Gerris with 11 species in Europe and 8 in Poland. Water striders grow up to some 10 mm in body length. They are predators hunting on the water surface for insects and other small invertebrates. They use their strong forelegs to grasp the prey and then they kill suck the haemolymph with their piercing and sucking mouthparts.
Water striders have the ability to move quickly on the water surface with their hydrophobic (non-wetting) legs. The legs are covered by large numbers of oriented tiny hairs (microsetae) with fine nanogrooves, thanks to which they can rely on surface tension to walk on water surface. On average, a water strider can move 1.5 metre per second by paddling forward with the middle pair of legs while the forelegs and hind legs act as a rudder.
I hope you enjoyed my small presentation. Being a rare guest on TN last years, I very much appreciate you stopping by.
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