Insects: How do they manage to walk on water?


There are many groups of insects that can skate on water. These are the gerrids , a family of hemiptera of over 1,700 species that are defined as skater insects. How do they not sink ? The secret is surface tension 


It is a film that is created by the mechanical tension of cohesion of the surface particles of the water. Water is liquid and made up of many molecules linked by a reciprocal attraction force on the surface and in contact with the air. But the attraction only comes from below. Here is the famous surface tension film capable of supporting solid objects that are not too heavy. 

The water striders are entirely designed to optimize the weight distribution of the water and thus be able to float and skate. Their legs are just over 1 cm long at most, they feed on invertebrates that fall on the water. Some have wings, some don’t, the females lay their eggs on rocks or in submerged vegetation. They also have hydrophobic hairs that prevent water from sticking to the insect, making it risk sinking. 

Another famous water skating insect is the hydrometer , the water meter, in fact it lives near slow-moving streams. Another insect worthy of mention is the Dolomedes spider or fishing spider. It waits at the edge of ponds and streams for its prey, then sprints across the water to catch them. It helps itself with hydrophobic hairs and surface tension, it manages to catch other insects and even small fish. 

  • How some insects walk on water


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