Almost always during rest at the water it is necessary to observe a small insect with excessively long paws, which very quickly and dexterously slides along the surface of the water. It is a bedbug of water meter: the very name of it speaks about the main differences of this species from other similar insects.
The bug with unusual skill is controlled with its paws and moves on the water like a skater on ice. Previously it was said that the bedbug "measures water," because of which the well-known name followed it.
What does a water-fall bug look like?
Water meter is a great variety of species - about 700. All of them differ from each other in appearance, color and way of life.
The narrow elongated body of the bug of the water meter (its value can vary from 1 mm to 3 cm) is similar to a small stick equipped with 3 pairs of legs of various lengths. The front feet are much shorter than the others, they are used to capture prey and adjust the speed of movement on the water.
The middle and hind legs are one and a half to two times the body length of the bug itself and are used as a reliable support and turning mechanism, as well as for making jumps.
The cloak is kept on the water due to the surface tension of the latter, which creates a kind of film. The bug on its paws, like a man on skis, slides over the surface, never falling into the water.
On the head of the water meter there are sensitive tendrils that help the insect to catch the sound vibrations of the water surface. Antennae also act as an organ of smell and touch.
The oral apparatus is represented by a segmented prickly-sucking proboscis used by a bug to suck the contents of the body of its prey.
Some water canals have wings, which make it possible to navigate long distances in search of new reservoirs, temporarily populate puddles. However, bugs are not very fond of flying and try to do it in exceptional cases. Wingless bugs live their entire lives on the same pond.
The body color of different types of water meter can range from light gray and greenish to dark brown. On the lower surface of the backrest is usually located a mottled pattern. No very noticeable or vivid drawings on it can not be found. How it looks like an adult bedbug water meter, you can see in the photo below:
Eggs bedbugs lay on the leaves and stems of aquatic plants. Sometimes round whitish eggs are located separately, next to each other, but more often they are fastened by a slimy substance in the form of a tape of 40-50 pieces.
The larva of this aquatic bug is in many respects similar to the adult individual - imago, but differs by a more bloated and short body. It is called a nymph and feeds on the same food as an adult insect. In the photo next to each other are visible larvae of the water meter:
It is interesting
Long legs of the bug water meter are covered with microscopic hairs that hold the air and help the bug to keep balance. The abdomen is also covered with whitish hairs and is greased with a waxlike liquid, which literally repels water. If you try to "drown" water meter, none of this will not work. In the water column, the insect will be surrounded by a lot of air bubbles and will look silvery.
The most famous types of water meter are:
- The water meter is big, one of the largest representatives of this family in our country. The length of her body can reach 17 mm.
- The water meter is slow and rod-shaped, occurring in Siberia and having such a thin body that it really looks like a wand.
- Pond water meter is remarkable because it has a variegated coloring of the feet.
In the tropics there are the largest types of water meters, which can hunt small fish and it is quite painful to bite a person.
Lifestyle of the bug water meter
For his life, the waterbody's bug chooses quiet stagnant water bodies or rivers with a very slow current. Thanks to its convenient long legs, the water meter can easily move not only on the water surface, but also overland. This gives the bug the opportunity to live near the water and wait there for its prey.
It feeds on a water meter with small invertebrates, insects (even hills) and fish fry. Large spherical eyes (the bug has excellent eyesight) helps to quickly notice the prey and attack it with a sharp proboscis. In this case the water meter keeps the exploding prey with tenacious front paws.
Widows themselves often become prey to fish, as well as masters for a small parasite - the larvae of a water mite that drinks their blood. In a bed bug infested with such a larva, a red dot can be seen on the chest under a microscope.
In winter, water cannels are not active and fall into a hibernation, settling in the vicinity of its reservoir. With the onset of heat, they again begin their old life, actively multiply.
Very interesting is the process of reproduction: the male climbs on the female, but if she does not want to mate, he paws on the water. These sound waves attract predators - water meter enemies. The female is frightened of such a threat and agrees to contact.
Eggs are harvested for about a week, then deposited either on aquatic plants in the form of a ribbon (in large species), or directly into the leaves cavity of plants (in small species). In large water meters, the masonry is similar to an egg band, fastened with mucus. In small bugs this mucus is not produced.
After a couple of weeks, larvae emerge from the egg, which will develop about a month, passing several stages of molting. Lives water meter for about 1 year.
It is interesting
With the onset of cold weather, winged water cannons are prepared for wintering on land. During this period, the muscles responsible for lifting the wings, atrophy, and the wings themselves fall off, and the adult becomes wingless.
Is the bug a water meter harmful?
Bedbug trough does not present any danger to a person. Only in rare cases, when a bedbug feels threatened or threatened, can he bite. This bite is similar to a weak injection and does not even require special treatment, it does not itch and does not hurt.
The only damage that water can do is to eat fry of valuable fish species. Bug-gusher very willingly attacks fry of early ages and kills them, sucking the contents of the body. Sometimes it can devour clutches of fish caviar.
However, even for complete saturation of the water meter, very little food is needed, and the fishes that live in the water column represent, for the bug, an addition to the usual diet, based on insects and mosquito larvae that have fallen to the surface of the water. This means that for the fisheries or the life of individual reservoirs, the bug does not carry a perceptible threat.
It is interesting
Recently, scientists have discovered an interesting and useful feature of waterbug bedbugs: it turns out that these insects play a big role in reducing the number of flies. Female females lay eggs in the water, and their larvae also develop here. Water meters with the same prey attack both adult flies and larvae. In this case, the adult horsefly is a fairly large prey for the water meter, and it is usually attacked by several bugs together. A few bugs can suck the flies out in a few minutes, whereas one individual usually spends 40 minutes to 1 hour on this.
Bug water meter is not a parasite and does not cause a person any trouble. This insect spends most of its active life on the surface of the water: there it multiplies, feeds and rest.
In the pond where these small bedbugs live, you can swim without fear, and in your spare time watch the endless running of bedbugs on the water, reminiscent of an indiscriminate dance.