My Home: I primarily am found on freshwater ponds, streams, lakes. I am able to slide along the surface of the water by distributing my weight evenly on my long legs.
What I eat: As a nymph or adult water strider, I am carnivorous and use my piercing mouth parts to suck the juices primarily from other insects or spiders, alive or dead. I find food by using my front legs to detect movement or ripples in the water and also use my front legs to grab my prey. I am considered a beneficial insect because I eat other insects including mosquito larvae.
What I look like: My body is thin, elongated, dark brown in color and about ¾” long. I have two antenna and six long thin legs. My front legs are shorter than my back legs. Some water strider species have wings.
How I am born: I go through three stages of development or incomplete metamorphosis: egg, nymph and adult. My egg is laid on aquatic plants or rocks. I hatch into a nymph and will molt many times to reach my adult form. It takes me around 8 weeks to go from egg to adult. As an adult, I usually live until a freeze, but in warmer areas I can overwinter and live up to a year.
Fun Facts: There is a water strider species that lives its entire life on the ocean. There are over 1,680 species of water striders in the world