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739 illustration
739 photo 01

Common pond skater

Gerris lacustris

The pond skater is a water-based insect with an elongated greyish body of up to 10 millimetres, long antennae and slender legs. It has a black thorax outlined in yellow. The front legs are pale in colour with black stripes.

Pond skaters are common inhabitants of ponds and other still waters. They move across the surface of the water with a rowing or jumping motion. Pond skaters winter under moss, among rocks and in other sheltered spots.

As they move over the water, pond skaters use their long, hydrophobic hind legs to spread their weight over a large surface area, as well as to steer. They feed on insects that fall onto the water surface.

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