Everything about Water Strides

Consider the following statements about ‘Water Strider’

1.      The legs of Water Striders repel water and capture air

2.      They are a good indicator of water quality

3.      They only feed on algae

Select the correct statements

a       1 and 2
b       2 and 3
c       1 and 3
d       1, 2 and 3
Explanation:

Solution (a)

Water striders are small insects that are adapted for life on top of still water, using surface tension to their advantage so they can “walk on water.”

Water acts different at the surface. Water molecules are attracted to each other and like to stay together, especially on the surface where there is only air above. The attraction between water molecules creates tension and a very delicate membrane. Water striders walk on this membrane.

Water striders are about a half-inch long with a thin body and three sets of legs. The water strider’s secret is its legs. The legs have tiny hairs that repel water and capture air. By repelling water, the tiny water striders stand on the water’s surface and the captured airs allows them to float and move easily.

The water strider’s shorter front legs are used for catching and holding onto food. Water striders eat insects and larvae on the surface of water, such as mosquitoes and fallen dragonflies.

News: New species of water strider found in Nagaland

·       Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of water strider from Nagaland. The species, named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra, was found in the river Intanki, Peren district.

·       The presence of black stripes on the dorsal side differentiates this species from other known species of the subgenus Ptilomera.

·       So far, only five species of water striders under the subgenus Ptilomera were known in India.

·       These includes Ptilomera agriodes found in peninsular India, Ptilomera assamensis found in northeastern India, Ptilomera laticaudata, northern and northeastern India, Pltilomera occidentalis from Uttarakhand and Ptilomera tigrina found in the Andaman islands.

·       What is unique about Ptilomera is that they are only found in rocky, fast flowing streams and rivers that are not exposed to a lot of sunlight.

·       Ptilomera has hair on the middle legs that help the insects resist the strong current of streams.

·       Water striders have three pairs of legs.

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