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Pond Skater

All of us, during our childhood, must have made paper boats and let it float on water. Unknowingly, we had accessed the physical properties of water to indulge in those moments of joy.

The marvels of a paper boat or a leaf gently floating over water are both possible because of the surface tension of the water. The strength of this force is adequate to support light objects and prevent them from sinking. We learnt this and a lot more about water as we grew up, but often failed to relate it to the floating boat.

Dimples on the water surface !

Dimples on the water surface !


The Pond Skaters, also referred to as the water-striders, is a group of true bugs that have taken to an aquatic life-style. They, to stay afloat, use the surface tension of water too! They can be found in most ponds, lakes and rivers, preferably in more still waters.

A congregation of pond skaters.

A congregation of pond skaters.


Like all insects, the pond skater has 6 legs. They (body and legs) are also covered with water repelling hair which further helps the insect to stay afloat. Only 4 legs (2nd and 3rd pair) are prominently visible. These are long and help to distribute the weight of the insect and to propel it on the water surface. The other 2 legs (1st pair) are the shortest and help in detecting vibrations/ripples on the water surface. This ability helps the pond skater to detect other small insects that may fall on the water. Once detected, it will swiftly ‘skate’ to the source of the disturbance, use the claws on the first pair to puncture the prey and eventually suck it dry!

Pond skater feeding.

Pond skater feeding.


Look around, observe nature carefully, there is plenty to learn – for that matter even refresh and recollect what we have learnt during our school days and relate them to nature better. Whoever said Nature is only about Biology!?

  • vidya

    Very nicely written blog!! Simple to understand and easy to digest the facts. Thanks for posting such informative articles.

  • Aishwarya

    Nice Post Karthik… Another learning today :)

  • http://framesofnature.com/ Santhosh Krishnamoorthy

    Lovely post Karthik…….feels nostalgic…. :-) ……
    we used to have things like ‘thought for the day or week’ and ‘word for the day’ etc in school. Now, it’s the ‘learning for the week/month from you’ :-) ….
    Thanks for sharing….

    • http://wildwanderer.com/ Karthikeyan S

      I remember those days….

      Thanks. I hope I will be able to sustain this for some more time to come.

  • Santosh Saligram

    Very true. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Swati Prasad Siddharth

    Nice. Few people take the trouble to point out what should be obvious but is lost in the bustle of daily routine. Even fewer seem to appreciate natural phenomena and our fellow creatures. Hopefully blogs like this is what children will read and use to learn positivity in their lives. Certainly our lifestyles and formal education systems leave a lot to be desired in moulding these aspects of a child’s future.

    • http://wildwanderer.com/ Karthikeyan S

      Thanks. Swati. Unfortunately, people fail to relate what they study. Once they start doing that, whatever you observe and in general life around you can become so much interesting.

  • http://theforestspirit.wordpress.com/ Anisha Jayadevan

    It’s always a pleasure to read your posts!
    Pond skaters is such an apt name.

  • http://www.natureclicks.in/ Saandip Nandagudi

    Nice post & photographs as always..

  • Nahar Muhammed

    Thanks Karthikji for improving our knowledge about ‘Water Striders’, wasn’t aware of its alternate name – ‘Pond Skater’ !!

  • Deepa Mohan

    Thanks for the info on what is commonly seen…and overlooked!

  • http://wildwanderer.com/ Karthikeyan S

    Thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments.

  • Srikanth vk

    Thanks for sharing this.. Great piece of info !