To listen to this article, please select Control + Shift + Z to launch the pop-up player.

Browser out-of-date!

You are using an out-of-date web browser, to avoid problems when using A-Z Animals and other sites we strongly recommend you upgrade to the latest version of your web browser!
Get Firefox Get Google Chrome Get Opera Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Get Apple Safari
Remove Advertising
A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>

Pond Skater


 Add to Phobia Filter  Contribute  Print  Listen
Pond Skater
Pond Skater
Pond Skater
Pond Skater
Pond Skater
The pond skater is a delicate water-based insect commonly found on still bodies of water across the Northern Hemisphere. There are around 500 different species of pond skater that are known by a variety of different names including water striders, water bugs, magic bugs, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers and Jesus bugs.

The pond skater is most commonly found across Europe where they live on the surface of ponds, slow streams, marshes, and other quiet waters, in all parts of the continent. Pond skaters are most well known for their ability to "walk on water", where pond skaters use surface tension to delicately walk on the surface of the water.

Pond skaters float on the surface of the water sensing vibrations and ripples in the water with sensitive hairs on their legs and bodies. If an insect accidentally falls into the water, the ripples it makes will tell the pond skater exactly where it is and the pond skater will dart across the surface of the pond to catch it's prey.

The long legs of the pond skater mean that they are very agile on the surface of the water and can jump to evade a predator or to catch an insect. Pond skaters however, do not spend all their time on the water as they will fly far from water to hibernate through the winter and then re-emerge from hibernation in the warmer spring.

The pond skater is a carnivorous insect that feeds only on other invertebrates in order to survive. Despite their thin and floaty appearance, the pond skater is actually a pretty aggressive predator, pouncing on insects that land on the water's surface. Insect larvae are the other main food source for the pond skater.

Due to it's small size and prominent appearance on the water's still surface, the pond skater is easily spotted by other pond-life. Fish and newts in the water along with birds, frogs and toads on the surface are the main predators of the pond skater.

Pond skaters are known to mate on the surface of the water in the warming months of spring and early summer, before the female pond skater returns to the water's edge to lay her eggs on a leaf where they will be safer from predators. When hatched, the pond skater nymph drop into the water where they continue to develop, before emerging on the surface as water-walking adults.

Although, a common sight on garden ponds throughout Europe, pond skaters in less cultivated areas are being increasingly affected by the rising levels of pollution in the natural freshwater sources.


Post Comment

Your Name:

Article Rating:

Your Comment:


Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of Pond Skater article.
 
Listen to Article
Listen to audio version of Pond Skater article. Hot key: CTRL key + Shift key + Z key

Pond Skater Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Arthropoda
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Insecta
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Hemiptera
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Gerridae
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species...
Pondskater
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Gerridae
Found:Worldwide
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Herbivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
1.6mm - 3.6mm (0.06in - 0.14in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
0.1g - 0.5g (0.004oz - 0.018oz)
Number of Species:
The total number of recorded species...
500
Average Lifespan:1 - 6 months
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black. Brown, Yellow, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Shell
Favourite Food:Insects
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Still water
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
200
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Insects, Larvae
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Fish, Frogs, Birds
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Armoured shell and walk on water

Related Animals

InsectInsect
There are an estimated 30 million species!