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Water Strider

Gerris sp.

Photo by Michael Plagens hosted at Wikimedia

This photo is hosted at Wikimedia. Copyright Information. Photo taken Dec 16, 2007 in the Wickenburg Mountains of southwest Yavapai Co., Arizona.

Gerridae, or Water Striders, are common insects found on ponds and slow moving streams wherever present in the Sonoran Desert. They rely on the water surface tension to skate across the surface and prey on other insects that land or fall into the water. They are true bugs with a piercing-sucking type mouth structure that they use to withdraw the liquified internal contents of prey.

Sometime incorrectly termed water "spiders", which of course they are not. They possess wings as adults with which they can leave a water hole and attempt to colonize another water hole - a risky endeavor in the desert where open water is a rare entity.

Family: Gerridae

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-07