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the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Gerridae (pond skaters, water striders)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Paraneoptera > Condylognatha > Hemiptera (bugs) > Heteroptera > Dipsocoromorpha > Gerromorpha > Gerroidea

 

Pondskater on small temporary water body in fynbos at Kleinmond Nature Reserve, Western Cape. Observe how the weight of the insect bends the water meniscus but does not break it. [photo H. Robertson, Iziko ]

 

Commonly seen on small water bodies, walking on the surface of the water. They feed mainly on small insects that fall onto the water surface.