Bugs in and near the pond and lake.


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True bugs (Pentatomoidea)      Plantbugs (Miridae)      Seed bugs (Lygaeidae)      Cicadas      Aphids 


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Bugs in and near the pond and dune lakes.

Information about bugs:

True bugs can be found both in and on water and on land. They also have a sucking mouthparts known as a rostrum. With this rostum they suck juices from all kinds. That can be plants and seeds, but also insects and other animals. They belong to the order Hemiptera like aphids and cicadas.
The true bugs have forewings that are hardened at the base and membranous at the tips. They sit flat over the abdomen hiding the membranous hind wings. Hemiptera means “half wing.  They are held flat on the back, with the ends overlapping. (Hardened forewings like the beetles have, but the forewings of beetles meet together in a straight line on their back)   
The larva (nymph) resembles a miniature wingless adult, although their colour and markings may be very different. The nymphs  progress through a series of moults (known as instars). The wings are developed in the last instar. ( incomplete metamorphosis, there is not a pupal stage). There are five instars.
In and near water, these families are on this website: Corixidae, Gerridae, Hydrometridae, Nepidae, Naucoridae, Notonectidae, Saldidae.
There are many families. Well known is the superfamily shield bugs - Pentatomoidea, which is divided into 14-15 families. Such as the family Stink bugs (Pentatomidae), the family Acanthosomatidae, the family Burrower Bugs (Cydnidae) and the family Jewel bugs (Scutelleridae).
Other true bugs families on this website are: Minute pirate bugs, Flower bugs (Anthocoridae), Squash bugs, Leaf-footed bug (Coreidae), Seed bugs, Ground bugs (Lygaeidae), Plant bugs (Miridae), Nabidae, Scentless plant bugs (Rhopalidae), Reduviidae, Lace bugs (Tingidae).

On this page you can read about bugs in and near the water.

On the water:

Family Gerridae. 
This species has many names: water striders, water bugs, magic bugs, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers or water skippers.  
They mainly feed on insects, which have fallen into the water but also of insects  larvae, which live in water. Just like the other bugs, it has a (short and sharp) rostrum. (sucking mouthparts).
They are heavier than water, but
they have tiny hairs on their feet which repel water and allow them to walk (skate) on the surface film. The first short legs are used for grasping prey, the middle are used to row or jump and the hind are used as “rudders”. They can also fly.

Common pond skater (Gerris lacustris) Family Gerridae... Common pond skater (Gerris lacustris) Family Gerridae.. Common pond skater (Gerris lacustris) Family Gerridae. Nymph: Common pond skater (Gerris lacustris) Family Gerridae. Nymph   

Common pond skater (Gerris lacustris). Family Gerridae.

Gerris lacustris is the most common in the Netherlands. A predominantly yellow front thigh with only a black stripe along the side edge. The wings are often half developed. Other species you can find in the pond are G. odontogaster and G. argentatus. They have almost entirely black front legs. G. thoracicus has a slightly red spot on the pronotum. G. argentatus is also significantly smaller. (Ton van Haaren thanks for the information)
Females lay eggs in May. The eggs take around 12-14 days to develop. The adults hibernate.
Palearctic.
                    
15-3-2012.   Left, bottom:  Nymph Common pond skater.  29-6-2012.

Gerris lacustris with long wings (macropteer). 8-4-2017 Gerris lacustris with long wings (macropteer).
        

Toothed Pondskater (Gerris odontogaster). Family Gerridae... Toothed Pondskater (Gerris odontogaster). Family Gerridae.. Toothed Pondskater (Gerris odontogaster). Family Gerridae.Toothed Pondskater (Gerris odontogaster). Family Gerridae.  

Toothed Pondskater (Gerris odontogaster). Family Gerridae. Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.

Dark legs. Developed wings. The wings of the Gerris odontogaster are dark and sometimes even bluish under the right lighting. The English name "Toothed Poundskater" refers to the typical teeth on the lower side of the abdomen (almost at the end). Only the males of G. odontogaster have these teeth. 
Length 12 - 14 mm. Europe, Asia. Photos 5-3-2014, 13-3-2014. 
      


 Family Hydrometridae.

Hydrometra stagnorurn. Family Hydrometridae... Hydrometra stagnorurn. Family Hydrometridae.  Hydrometra stagnorurn. Family Hydrometridae.

They stand much higher on their legs, then  a skater. They walk  not so fast over the water film and stay near the edge of the pond. As a child I thought they were family of my stick insects.
It feed on insects like the pond skaters.
The adults hibernate. The female lays the 1 mm large eggs on plants above the water (some times a year).
An other very similar species is the
Hydrometra gracilenta.
Length 9 - 12 mm. Europe. Photos 20-6-2012. German: Gemeine Teichläufer. 
    


Near the water.

Family Shore bugs (Saldidae).
Oval glossy dark brown, small predatory bugs with bulging eyes. 

Genus Saldula. Family shore bugs (Saldidae).  Nymph 10-10-2014: Saldula nymph. Family shore bugs (Saldidae).

Genus Saldula. Family shore bugs (Saldidae).

An oval glossy dark brown little bug with bulging eyes. There are some very similar species. Saldula saltatoria is one of the most common. The bugs in the picture life along the banks of a dune lake, they were also found in the small lake These bugs can jump.
Berend Aukema pointed out to me that two different Saldula species are sitting here. The top is a Saldula pallipes, the lower is a Saldula saltatoria. Thanks Berend.
Other Saldula species in the Netherlands: Saldula Arenicola, Saldula C-album, Saldula fucicola, Saldula melanoscela, Saldula opacula, Saldula ortho differencea, Saldula palustris, Saldula piloseli
 
Saldula pallipes. Family shore bugs (Saldidae)...Saldula pallipes. Family shore bugs (Saldidae). .Saldula pallipes. Family shore bugs (Saldidae). .Saldula pallipes. Family shore bugs (Saldidae).  Saldula pallipes. Family shore bugs (Saldidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.

Macropteer or submacropteer. 3,4-5 mm. Black with white-yellow wing pattern is very variable, usually not sharply contrasting. Exocorium (outer edge middle part forewings) with a light spot, usually with a black break. Saldula palustris, Saldula pallipes and Saldula saltatoria are very similar.
Berend Aukema (translated): Saldula pallipes has a continuous black band on the front shins from the knee - S. saltatoria has an isolated black spot in the middle of the shin and a black patch at the knee; the wing pattern is also different.
Along Fresh, brackish and salt water. In the Netherlands both on the coast and inland and probably one generation in a year. Two generations per year in the south. Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean
The adult overwinters. Photos: 10-3-2014. 

     
Saldula saltatoria. Family shore bugs (Saldidae)... Saldula saltatoria. Family shore bugs (Saldidae)..  Saldula saltatoria. Family shore bugs (Saldidae).  Saldula saltatoria. Family shore bugs (Saldidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.

Generally submacropteer, rarely macropteer. 3.4-4.5 mm.
Forewings with black to brown pattern (variable) with bluish gray spots. Exocorium (outer edge middle part forewings) with two white spots separated by a black spot. Clavus (along the scutellum) has a light spot next to the tip of the scutellum. Moderately dense, silver-white to golden brown hair.
Yellow-brown to dark-brown legs. An isolated black spot in the middle of the shin and a black patch at the 'knee'.
All kinds of moist biotopes. From above the polar circle to the south of North Africa.
A second generation in a year may still be possible in the Netherlands.
The adult bug overwinters. Photos: 10-3-2014. 

Saldula saltatoria. Family shore bugs (Saldidae). 6-12-2014. This Saldula saltatoria I have found in our garden! 

    

In the water: 

Family Corixidae. In U.S.A.: Water Boatman.
The Corixa resembles the backswimmer, but there are many differences. Corixidae swim right side up near the bottom. It is searching for food at the bottom (waste, algae, small invertebrates). It takes up air (and keep it) under the elytra at the back. In order to breathe the corixa comes to the surface. 
The males can make sounds in some time. The eggs are usually stuck to aquatic plants. The adult Corixa overwinters.
The body is streamlined and flat. Although they they live underwater, they can fly very well. Their rostrum is short. The scutellum is not visible. They have fine horizontal striations marking. Many species look alike. (in the Netherlands there are 14 species.

Hesperocorixa sahlbergi. Family Corixidae... Hesperocorixa sahlbergi. Family Corixidae.   Hesperocorixa sahlbergi. Family Corixidae.
  
Mmacropteer. 7.2-9 mm. Pronotum with 8 to 9 cross lines, which are thin and usually regular. Forewings with narrow, usually regular, parallel, pale cross lines. Point of the corium yellowish. It resembles the smaller Hesperocorixa castanea (4.5-5.5 mm).
Palaearctic region, North Africa and the Far East. Especially detritus, but also other food. Photos: 25-6-2019.
 
  
Sigara lateralis. Family Corixidae... Sigara lateralis. Family Corixidae.   Sigara lateralis. Family Corixidae.

Macropteer. 5-6.4 mm. Pronotum and forewings are black. Pronotum with a keel in the middle about a quarter of its length. Head and legs are yellow. A black last part of the hind leg.
Palaearctic area and tropical Africa and India. Food: algae, detritus, living creatures. Photos: 22-7-2013.
   
Sigara striata. Family Corixidae... Sigara striata. Family Corixidae.. Sigara striata. Family Corixidae.Sigara striata. Family Corixidae.   Sigara striata. Family Corixidae. 
 
Macropteer. 6.7-8 mm. Pronotum and forewings are black-brown. Head and legs are yellowish.
From weak brackish water to fens, but almost not in rivers and streams.
Europe, East Asia. Food: algae, detritus, living creatures. Photos: 22-7-2013.
    
Lesser water boatman (Corixa punctata). Family Corixidae... Lesser water boatman (Corixa punctata). Family Corixidae.Lesser water boatman (Corixa punctata). Family Corixidae.  L (Corixa punctata). Family Corixidae. Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.

Macropteer. 12.8-15.8 mm. Pronotum and forewings shiny dark brown. Head and legs are yellowish. Belly yellowish with black. It is very similar to the Corixa dentipes, which is rare in the Netherlands. Larger and wider than the Sigara.
Europe, to North Africa. In all kinds of water. Zoöfaag .. The adult overwinters. Photos: 5-3-2014. 
   


Family Naucoridae.

Saucer bug (Ilyocoris cimicoides) Family Naucoridae.. Saucer bug (Ilyocoris cimicoides) Family Naucoridae . Saucer bug (Ilyocoris cimicoides) Family Naucoridae  Saucer bug (Ilyocoris cimicoides). Family Naucoridae.

The Saucer bugs I don't see as often as the backswimmers in or near the pond. It is also a predator. It's a flattened, oval bug.
The front legs are very different from the other legs. They are on the end curved and pointed. They are strongly adapted for grasping prey. The middle legs have small claws. The flattened, hairy hind legs are modified for swimming.
Its beak is very sharp. It injects a toxic digestive saliva in the prey and sucks in dissolved parts. You must be careful when you pick it up. Because it's bite is very painful. (like the sting of a wasp)
Prey: Small fish, tadpoles, aquatic insects, larvae in the water.
The breath is similar to that of the Water Boatman. The Saucer bug moves on land better than the boatman.  Size: 16 mm. You can find it all year. Photos: 2-4-2011.  
 
        


Family waterscorpions (Nepidae).

Water scorpion (Nepa cinerea). Family waterscorpions (Nepidae)... Water scorpion (Nepa cinerea). Family waterscorpions (Nepidae).    Water scorpion (Nepa cinerea). Family waterscorpions (Nepidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.
    

It is a flattened, broadened bug. The colour is dark green to grey-brown, sometimes reddish. The pincer-like strong front legs are well suited to hold a prey. At the end of its abdomen it has long breathing tube. To get air this breathing tube is brought to the surface. The bug looks a bit like a scorpion.
You can find it on the bottom of shallow water often at the side of the bank. It awaits his prey, because it does not swim well enough to haunt it. Its prey consists of various small animals such as mosquito larvae. By air under the wingscases it can easily float at the surface
The eggs are laid on floating plants. Length 17-25 mm. The adult bug overwinters. Europe, Africa, North Asia (not China). Photos: 12-3-2014.
  
             


Family Backswimmers (Notonectidae)

Backswimmers, (Notonecta glauca and Notonecta viridis are the common species).. Backswimmers, (Notonecta glauca and Notonecta viridis are the common species)   Backswimmers, (Notonecta glauca and Notonecta viridis are the common species)  photo begin April 2007.

Backswimmers, because they swim upside down. They use their long, hair-fringed hind legs as paddles. Backswimmers maintain an air supply by trapping air in pockets at the tip of the abdomen. After six hours they need to return to the surface. In contrast of walking, it is a good flier
It is a real
predator. It is feeding by piercing the prey (larvae, frog tadpole) and sucking out body fluids. But backswimmers must watch out for toads and frogs.
The eggs are laid singly attached to the stems of plants.
German:  Rückenschwimmer. French: Notonectes. 
    

Backswimmers (Notonecta) .. Backswimmers (Notonecta) Backswimmers (Notonecta)   Backswimmers (Notonecta).
Here on the dry terrace underneath a patio umbrella. So far I had only seen backswimmers it in the pond. I was on that moment not in my best mood. That night there was tried  to burgle. They had run away, when my woman  was nothing suspecting gone downstairs. Nothing has been stolen, but I had to replace the damaged lock. 
Then this backswimmer landed before my feet on the flags. I stopped repairing and took my camera. After some photos it flew away. That was also a good for a photo.
The day ended better, than it began.
German:  Rückenschwimmer. French: Notonectes.     
Notonecta viridis. Family Backswimmers (Notonectidae)... Notonecta viridis. Family Backswimmers (Notonectidae).. Notonecta viridis. Family Backswimmers (Notonectidae).Notonecta viridis. Family Backswimmers (Notonectidae).  Notonecta viridis. Family Backswimmers (Notonectidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house. 

Macropteer. 3.4-14.7 mm. Slim body. A black scutellum. Forewings bright grey-yellow (brackish water) to dark yellow (fresh water).
Europe, North Africa to Asia Minor and Central Asia, Pakistan and India. The adult overwinters. Photos 5-3-2014. 

       

I want to thank Berend Aukema and Ton van Haaren for the determination of many of my bugs.

A Belgium site about bugs: Insectenwerkgroep Zuid-West-Vlaanderen.   A German site about bugs:  www.koleopterologie.de.
A British site about bugs: Britishbugs.org.uk   A German site about bugs: Natur-in-nrw.de
Bugs and other insects in France insects in France.    A Danish site about plantbugs: www.miridae.dk
Bugs in France: Aramel.free.fr   Small cicadas: gallery.kunzweb.net
Bugs around the Mediterranean region.   A site about aphids Aphids.
The Garden Safari Information about insects.     

 

Nederlands / Dutch                                                    


                      

 

Subpage bugs in the garden:   True bugs (Pentatomoidea)      Plantbugs (Miridae)      Seed bugs (Lygaeidae)      Cicadas      Aphids 

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