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When I took this photo of a pond skater flitting about on a pond at a local nature reserve, I thought it would be easy to identify – ever the optimist, me! Then I discovered that there are, in fact, nine species of pond skater in Britain, though I think this is most likely to be the Common pond skater (Gerris lacustris).

180429 pond skater

I was fascinated to learn that this bug has water-repellent hairs on its feet and that’s how it’s able to ‘walk’ over the surface of still water. It uses its long middle legs to ‘row’ and its hind legs trail along behind like a kind of rudder. Amazing!