A group of insects that can all readily fly from pond to pond.
Pond Skater Gerris lacustris
Skate over water surface. Like all insects they have 3 pairs of legs, the middle and hind pair are used to skate over the water surface, while the shorter pair are used for grabbing prey items. The long beak (rostrum) is used for stabbing prey and sucking out the juices.
Water Cricket Vella Caprai
Skates over the water surface. Often found in shaded parts of ponds and streams.
Photograph: Will Watson
Water measurer Hydrometra stagnorum
Extemely elongated body. Walk or run over water surface.
Spotted Backswimmer – Greater Water Boatman Notonecta maculate
Swims using its back legs, which have fringes of hairs and are used as oars. The front and middle legs are used to grasp prey.
Lesser Water Boatman Corixidae
Not so predatory as the water boatman.
Saucer Bug Iiyocoris cimicoides
Superficially similar to a diving beetle, but has soft wings instead of hard wing cases. The white patches are single-celled ciliate protozoans – they are not parasites but filter-feeders which can often be seen attached to water bugs and beetles.
Alderfly Sialis lutaria
One of 3 British species, adults are short-lived and have distinctive heavily veined wings. Larvae are fierce aquatic predators.
Caddisfly family Trichoptera
Related to moths, their wings have tiny hairs instead of scales. They have a characteristic resting posture with their long antennae stretched out in front.
Caddisfly larva Limnephilus sp.
In most species of caddisfly, the larvae build themselves a protective case out of leaf fragments, sand grains or other material.
Caddisfly larva in a different case
The design of the case varies between species and is a useful feature for identification.
This species builds a case using large leaf fragments, very different to the previous photo.
Brown China-mark Moth Elophiiia nymphaeata
Can be seen around waterside vegetation.
Note how the antennae are held back along the body in contrast to the forward directed antenae of the caddisfly.
Brown China-mark caterpillar
Builds a simple case out of leaf fragments. They float around the pond surface feeding on water plants.
Photograph: Giles King-Salter