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Jonathan - Pondskater - 11th October 2008

Observed: 11th October 2008 By: Jonathan
iSpot team
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Gerris pondskaters cropped 2
Gerris pondskater cropped
Gerris pondskaters with prey 11-10-2008
Description:

Pondskaters in abundance on the surface of my small garden pond.
There are apparently about 12 species of Gerris, but if the ones in my pond are the common species this is Gerris lacustris.
Gerrids are polymorphic for whether they have wings or not. They feed on insects that get trapped in the surface film. Watching them up close is fascinating.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

Gerris

I've goodspotted you for "Gerris sp.", but I'm not able to confirm lacustris. Although it is true that lacustris is the commonest in the genus, there are two or three others that are widespread and may be on ponds. The only species I've had on my pond (so far) is G. gibbifer (for which the most obvious distinguishing feature is on the underside). Need to get it out of the water and under a lens!

Martin Harvey
Biodiversity Observatory

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

Jonathan's picture

Is there an ID guide to the genus Gerris?

Jonathan Silvertown

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Martin Harvey's picture

Gerris ID

The most recent published key is:
Savage, A.A. 1989. Adults of the British aquatic Hemiptera Heteroptera. Freshwater Biological Association, Ambleside.

(There are a couple of other pondskater genera that look similar to Gerris.)

Contact me direct for further info.

Martin Harvey
Biodiversity Observatory

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

dejayM's picture

GoodSpotting

Whatever happened 'GoodSpot'? I should qualify for plenty!

Jonathan's picture

We settled for 'I agree'

We settled for 'I agree'

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

dejayM's picture

more

Quite right too - I've got a few agreements. More please!
ðj