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Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Do Water Striders Walk on Water?

How Do Water Striders Walk on Water?

Water striders, or pond skaters, are held up by the surface film on a body of water. Find a marsh, pond, or quiet creek, and you’ll probably find one of these insects. A water strider has a long, slender body and six spidery legs.

Its long legs spread its weight over a wide area, so it never breaks through the water’s surface. Water striders use the high surface tension of water and long, hydrophobic legs to help them stay above water.

This position of keeping the majority of the body above the water surface is called an epipleustonic position, which is a defining characteristic of water striders.

It races over the surface to devour insects and other tiny creatures that fall into the water. Should a water strider get knocked over by a wave, water-repellent hairs on its body keep it from getting wet and from drowning.

Content for this question contributed by Tiersa Kitchens, resident of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, USA