Hemiptera - the true bugs

bug

penny
Note the size of the real penny and use it to judge the size of the bugs in the following pictures.

Family: Corixidae, Water Boatmen

adult water boatman

Class: Insecta

Order: Hemiptera, true bugs

Family: Corixidae, water boatmen

Size: 0.1 - 0.5 inch (3-11 mm)

Habitat & Habits: Water boatmen swim through the water using their oarlike hind legs. These bugs live in streams, lakes, and ponds, and must come to the surface from time to time for air. Adults and immatures look similar, but immatures lack wings. Adults can leave the water and fly to new habitats. Water boatmen are important food items for many fish.

Feeding: Water boatmen may be omnivores, scavengers, predators, or herbivores, depending on species.

Water Quality Indicator: Some species of water boatmen are very tolerant of pollution.


Family: Gerridae, True Water Striders

adult water strider

Class: Insecta

Order: Hemiptera, true bugs

Family: Gerridae, true water striders

Size: 0.1-1 inch (3-20 mm)

Habitat & Habits: Water striders skate across the surface film in stream back eddies, and in ponds and lakes. True water striders are distinguished from other skating bugs by their long middle and hind legs. They may communicate by rippling the water surface. Adults may or may not have wings.

Feeding: Water striders are predators, eating insects trapped in the water's surface film. They find these trapped insects by following the water ripples made by the insect's struggling

Water Quality Indicator: Because water striders don't actually live in the water, they are not very useful indicators of water quality.


Family: Veliidae, Shortlegged Water Striders, Pond Bugs

adult Velliidae

Class: Insecta

Order: Hemiptera, true bugs

Family: Veliidae, shortlegged water striders, pond bugs

Size: 0.05-0.5 inch (1-12 mm)

Habitat & Habits: Shortlegged water striders are found skating on many types of water. One common genus prefers the fast-flowing water near stream riffles. These water shredders are much smaller than true water striders, and truly resemble small black "spiders" skating on the water's surface.

Feeding: Shortlegged water striders are predators, eating insects trapped in the water's surface film. They find these trapped insects by following the water ripples made by the insect's struggling.

Water Quality Indicator: Because shortlegged water striders don't actually live in the water, they are not very useful indicators of water quality.