The front legs are modified and used to hold their prey, the middle pair are used to row them around the surface of the pond and the rear legs are used to steer like rudders. All of them are coated in fine waxy hairs that help to keep it balanced on the water's surface tension. They can really move too, scooting across the water surface at over a meter a second! To complete the line-up they have piercing mouth-parts which suck the nutrients out of their unfortunate prey. Quite formidable to have something like that bearing down on you! Would be great to find some of the other eight UK species here too.
|Common Pondskater, Gerris lacustris: R. Harris|