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several families (Gerridae, Hydrometridae and others) of aquatic bugs of the order Heteroptera. Water striders are small insects (from 2 to 34 mm) with delicate, elongated bodies and long legs. They skim rapidly or walk easily over the water’s surface (hence the name).
Water striders are often wingless, and the lower surface of their bodies is covered with a velvety down. There are about 600 widely distributed species. Species of the genus Halo-bates and others similar to it are found in the tropical regions of oceans. In Europe the common species of water striders are from the genera Gerris and Hydrometra. In the fresh waters of the USSR, Gerris lacustris is the most common species. Water striders are predators, and they also suck the corpses of animals. Freshwater striders lay their eggs on aquatic plants; sea striders carry them on their bodies.