Monday, June 28, 2010

Spider=Master HUNTER

These little crab spiders are ferocious hunters. For something so tiny to be able to bite, tackle and eat something such as this Red Admiral Butterfly, that is easily 10X bigger than itself attests to their tenacity.
I typically see them feasting on flies or small bees, this is the first I've seen one feed on prey so much larger than itself. The spider is about dime size legs and all, and clearly a juvenile still. She is showing signs of becoming a master predator.

This pint-sized spider is a jumping spider of some sort, he was chowing down on a little gnat, or something equally as tiny.

Then another crab spider on some fleabane consuming a flower fly.

Then I came across a Daddy Longlegs feasting on a fly.... on the next plant over there was another Daddy Longlegs also feasting on what appeared to be the same species of fly.
It would appear it was a good night for the hunters....not so much for the HUNTED!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two-Lined Spittlebug

 This small but pretty little bug is a Two-Lined Spittlebug (Prosapia bicincta).  They are approximately 3/8 of in inch long and somewhat thick bodied. They are black with two orangish-yellow stripes and red eyes. There is a mark right behind the thorax that is very heart-like in shape.They are very common in meadows, and other grassy areas throughout the Eastern United States. Usually you will see the signs of the nymphs much more often than you will see the adults.

Just look for the spit!

Females lay eggs in the fall that overwinter. In the spring the eggs hatch and the young nymphs begin feeding. As nymphs they hide out in this foamy, spit-like substance that is attached to various plant stems. They will feed on the juices from the plant all tucked away safe and sound inside this very unique camo. There seems to be some debate as to what purpose the spit has.....some feel it may keep the nymph from drying out or desiccating. It may also be a form of protection from enemies that may want to feed on them.

The adults feed on holly predominantly. Ornamental plants and turf grasses can be harmed by the feeding habits of the nymphs and the adults. This usually will not happen if plants or grasses are healthy. Should a large infestation occur then measures may be needed to remove them from your yard. I have hundreds of these little guys around our farm, I rarely see much damage because of them.

For me these globs of spit on the plants is a sure sign that summer is in full swing. Starting in about late May or early June they are everywhere. There is no end to the wonderful, unique and crazy ways that insects can protect themselves or hide away from predators. Spit, in my opinion , ranks right up there at the top.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Flat-Faced Longhorn

This oddly, yet beautifully, marked beetle is a Flat-Faced Beetle in the family Cerambycidae. After submitting this image to Dr. Art Evans and Ted MacRae they were both able to identify it is Saperda imitans. There is no common name for it other than "Flat-Faced Longhorn". They are very uncommon in Missouri and are associated with hardwood timbered areas. Their range includes all of Eastern North America.

I found this one at a mercury vapor light I had set out. I had no idea what it was, only that it was something I had never seen before. Imagine my excitement to  learn that it was an uncommon beetle. I felt very  lucky to have found it.

Their elytra are dark gray with a reddish colored stripe running along the margin. This stripe extends into the sides of pronotum and the head. The underside is brownish-white and legs are gray. They are about 3/4 of an inch long.

The grubs feed on decaying hardwood trees like Hickory and Willow. Therefore they are not known to cause any significant damage to trees. Just when I think I couldn't possibly find anything new around our farm, I am surprised by things like this beetle. It just goes to show you never know what you will find, or where you will find it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Black Witch

 This beautiful moth is called the Black Witch Ascalapha odorata in the family Noctuidae, which are the Owlet moths. This is an impressively large moth with a wingspan up to 6 inches (there are even reports they could reach 7 inches). The females are larger than males and are marked with more contrasting colors. They have pinkish-white bands across the middle of the wings. Both males and females are brown with alternating wavy lines and bands. Often there will be a iridescent blue sheen to the wings. They are the only species within their genus in North America and would be hard to mistake for any other species. These are a tropical or sub-tropical species and are found in South and Central America as well as Texas and Florida. Often from June-October they will stray further north and make their way in Missouri as well as other areas. They have even been found in Canada.

The one photographed here was found in St. Joseph by a friend of mine named Colton. He was at work at the Miniature Golf Course where he is employed and found it clinging to the side of a wall. He knew it was something unusual and captured it to add to his own personal insect collection. He brought it by to show me to see if I could identify it. I knew right away, even before he opened the brown paper bag it was in what he had. I was so envious, I have been looking for one of these for 3 years. I am happy for him too, this may be a county record for Buchanan County. We will do some more research on it and find out. I brought the moth home to photograph it for Colton and do some research on it so I could post this blog. Now I must return it to him . He knows where I work so I can't keep it....LOL

There is much myth and mystery surrounding this moth. They are commonly mistaken for bats because of their large size and their night time flying habits. The Mayans called them Mah-Ha-Na which translates into "May I borrow your house", and comes from their often being found inside homes fluttering around at night. In Mexico they are feared as a sign of death. If someone should fall ill and be visited at night by one of these moths, they will surely die. On Cat Island, Bahamas, they are locally known as Money Moths or Moneybats, and the legend is that if they land on you, you will come into money. In South Texas they are thought to be lucky if they land above your doorway and remain there, you should play the lottery, because you will win.

These moths are capable of flying great distances in only few days. They are entirely nocturnal and fly at night. They are often attracted to pole lights, porch lights or other light sources. During the day they will rest under the eaves of houses, in sheds, barns or garages. They have even been found resting underneath cars, and don't seem to be bothered at all when the car is in motion.

Colton is hoping to get her to lay eggs so he can attempt to raise them. The host plant are trees in the pea family. After looking up which trees would qualify in Missouri I found that they list the Kentucky Coffee Tree and Black Locust. One of our biologist where I work felt that plants in the Cassia family may work as well such as Partridge Pea. The adults are fond of overripe fruit, alcohol, and sometimes nectar.

I want to thank Colton for allowing me to bring this beautiful moth home and capture images of her. I will just have to keep looking and hopefully I will be as blessed as Colton was to find one of God's most beautiful creatures.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black Saddlebag

 This gorgeous dragonfly is called the "Black Saddlebags" (Tramea lacerata). This is the first time I've ever seen this dragonfly, yet they are reported to be very common. This one showed up at my goldfish pond. It is reported that they fly and glide constantly and rarely sit still and perch. I feel very fortunate that this one was so cooperative. Eric Eaton from bugguide felt that this was a newly emerged adult, if that is the case it would explain why it was sitting so quietly. They have very large hindwings that are used for gliding. They are found throughout North America except for the upper Midwest. They will often be found a long way from water hunting for insect prey in open fields.

 After mating the females will lay eggs in fish free temporary or permanent pools of water. They are partially migratory, specimens further north will migrate south. Sometimes this may occur in large swarms. 

These are a large dragonfly with a 4 inch wingspan, and they have very distinct black "saddles" on their wings. The head is dark brown in color, and the female may have mottling or spotting on their abdomen. They are efficient at mosquito control, both the larvae and the adult feed on mosquito larvae. They are beneficial to have around areas where there is stagnant or standing water that breeds mosquitoes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Twice-Stabbed Stink Bug

This tiny, but beautiful little bug is the "Twice-Stabbed Stink Bug" (Cosmopepla lintneriana). They are found throughout most of North America.
Each year they show up in my gardens in fairly large numbers. I find them mating, feeding and laying eggs on the Hybrid Columbines and the Lamb's Ear. These are very tiny bugs measuring approximately 1/4 of an inch in length.

 These are the eggs, as you can see, there are still three left to hatch. This entire cluster of eggs was about 1/4 of an inch in diameter. When they hatch they are impossibly tiny nymphs..... The females will remain close by to guard the eggs and the nymphs.

 Here is one little nymph crawling down the stem of a columbine plant. The diameter of the plant stem is about the same dimension as the stick of a wooden sparkler that we were all fond of as children on the 4th of July. So that gives you some idea of just how tiny this nymph really is as you can see it's feet gripping the stem....and in no way does it even come close to wrapping around that narrow little stem. The adults overwinter in leaf litter and become active again in the spring.

These stink bugs feed on the juices of various plants. The enzyme in their saliva breaks down the tissue of the plant and they slurp it up through their beak-like mouth. The nymphs feed on tiny insects.

Identifying them is easy....they are all black with red or yellow on their pronotum, two red or yellow spots on their abdomen and the wings will be edged in red or yellow. Their overall shape is shield-like just as other stink bugs are. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats including backyard gardens, prairies, meadows, grasslands, open fields and other grassy areas.

 These little bugs also go by other names which include: Two-Spotted Stink bug; Black-Red Stink Bug; and Wee Harlequin Bug.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Daddy Longlegs

This is one of those arthropods that can be considered a misfit. They aren't an insect and they aren't quite a spider either, although they are related to spiders. Daddy Longlegs are one of those creepy crawlies that children identify with and love to hold. They are harmless, even though rumors persist that these spiders are highly venomous and if they could bite us they would be deadly. This simply is not true. They do not possess  venom; they instead feed on animal and plant matter.

Another creature often called daddy-longlegs are actually spiders. These long-legged spiders are in the family Pholcidae. Previously the common name of this family was the cellar spiders but arachnologists have also given them the moniker of "daddy-longlegs spiders" because of the confusion generated by the general public. Because these arachnids are spiders, they have 2 body basic body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen), have 8 eyes most often clumped together in the front of the body, the abdomen shows no evidence of segmentation, have 8 legs all attached to the front most body part (the cephalothorax) and make webs out of silk. This is most probably the animal to which people refer when they tell the tale because these spiders are plentiful especially in cellars (hence their common name) and are commonly seen by the general public. The most common pholcid spiders found in U.S. homes are both European immigrants. There is no proven documentation that even these spiders bite humans.

So this myth is definitely NOT true for the Daddy longlegs in the order Opilionides.....and it probably highly UNLIKELY for the Pholcids as well.

 Unlike spiders which have two body parts, a cehalothorax and an abdomen, daddy longlegs have one compact body. These spider-like creatures belong to the family Phalangiidae within the order Opiliones.  with up to 150 species north of Mexico in North America. They are powerfully difficult to ID to species. They are sometimes called harvestmen, harvest spiders, shepherd spiders, phalangids, and opilionids. Most spiders have 6 to 8 eyes, daddy longlegs have 2 eyes. They do not build webs and will only be found in a web if they happen to fall into one. Then at that time they are sure to be dinner for a much more aggressive spider. These oddballs of the insect realm are fond of moist areas and will often be found around rotting logs, under rocks or near damp basements and cellars.

Rest assured it is safe for your children and your grand-children to play with these little spiders (or in some cases not so little). They are no more harmful than lightning bugs or ladybugs.

Information derived from :

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Carpenter Ant

 This large, black ant is familiar to most all of us, it is the Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). They are found throughout the United States and Canada. In our area these are the biggest ants we see, they reach lengths up to 3/4 of an inch, the queen is larger. Finding them is no problem they seem to be everywhere you look, gardens, parks, backyards all will be home to these large ants. They are a Rural, Urban and Suburban species and can adapt quite well to most any environment.  Adults feed on nectar, honeydew, fruit juices and other insects as is this picture. This large predator is feeding on a poor little Hollyhock Weevil.  Look at the size of that ant in comparison to the weevil. It must look like the Godzilla of insects to that tiny beetle. Even though they are aggressive hunters, sometimes the hunter becomes the hunted. These ants are an important food source for woodpeckers, especially Pileated Woodpeckers which have been observed excavating and consuming entire colonies. Other birds and animals will also prey on them. 

After mating, the queen will lay eggs and these eggs hatch in about 3 weeks. It will take them an additional 3 weeks to reach full size and pupate. Once the adults emerge they will take over the care of future offspring produced by the queen. The larvae are fed chewed up bits of insects and sugary substances. All eggs laid by the queen will be females (workers). In a few years the colony will contain 1,000's of members. When the colony becomes too overpopulated hundreds of winged females called alates will leave the colony to mate and start their own colonies far away from their original home. This usually takes place in late summer or early fall. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Painted Lichen Moth

 This pretty, colorful, little moth is the Painted Lichen Moth Hypoprepia fucosa, in the family Acrtiidae, which is the same family as the tiger moths. They are small with a wingspan up to one inch. What they lack in size they more than make up for in coloration. The forewings are reddish-orange, with dark gray and yellow bands. The hindwing is pinkish with bands of gray.  After mating, the female will lay her eggs near lichens, mosses and algae which are the host plants for the caterpillars. Typically these moths will be found near woodlands, and they are attracted to porch lights. Mosses and Lichens tend to be pollution sensitive, therefore you may not find these moths near heavily populated cities.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sleeping Bees

These tired little bees are Melissodes bimaculata.Which is a type of long-horned bee. I guess after a busy day gathering nectar and pollen it makes even the busiest bee gets tired. I occasionally find these little bees on plants 2 or 3 at a time but never before as many as this picture portrays. I captured this image last summer in some tall grasses near our pond. When we think of insects, if we think of them at all, we rarely think of them napping.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mystery solved

  A while back I posted this picture of a cocoon. I suspected that is was a Cecropia Moth. 

I waited patiently.... for it to make its appearance and here it is:

It is a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) , it is our largest and arguably our most gorgeous moth in the Saturniidae family. These are are our giant silk moths and include the Luna Moth, Polyphemus Moth, and Imperial Moth to name but a few. The Cecropia has a wingspan up to 6 inches. Females are larger than males, but males have gorgeous super feathery antennae. The one that emerged from the cocoon is a female.

  (The big blob of red goo between her eyes in this picture is her "blood" pumping throughout her body to expand her wings and body after emerging from the cocoon.)

The Cecropia Moth also goes by the name of Robin Moth in parts of its range. With all those chocolate and orange markings it is easy to see why they are called that. They range throughout Eastern North America as well as southern Wyoming. They are attracted to porch lights as well as other outdoor lights. They are becoming more and more common in urban and suburban areas. The females will emit a powerful pheromone that attracts males from great distances (few miles). Mating typically occurs after midnight and they may stay joined for most of the night and next day. Females usually only mate once, but males will often mate with more than one female. Eggs are laid in a row of two or six eggs on the leaves or stems of the host plant. They will hatch in about 10 days to two weeks. Their very first meal will be their own eggshell. Apparently this eggshell contains nutrients that are beneficial to them. They are born black and bristly. As they grow and molt they will change appearance and become bright green with blue, yellow, and red knobs. They are as gorgeous in the caterpillar stage as they are in the adult stage. They have a wide variety of host plants, although Maple trees seem to be the preferred host. You may also find them on Alder, Ash, Birch, Beech, Willow, Box-elder, Cherry, Dogwood, Elm, Gooseberry, Plum and Poplar. The adults do not feed. All of the nutrients they need are consumed in the caterpillar stage.

(Photo by: Linda Murphy)

 The caterpillars are often preyed upon by tachinid flies. The fly will approach a caterpillar and land on top of it, she will then deposit her eggs on the sides of the caterpillar. The eggs hatch and the young burrow into the caterpillar and feed from within. When the flies are ready to pupate they send out a chemical that signals to the caterpillar to pupate. The flies will develop within the cocoon and the caterpillar perishes. This constant parasitism by the flies may be causing a decline in the number of these moths. Cecropia's are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day.

 I placed her in a large bird cage near the timber on our property. I was hoping she would attract a mate. Nothing happened the first night, and the temperatures were somewhat chilly outside so that may have been why. Last night our forecast was for severe storms so I released her from the cage. I did not want her to drown or get water soaked in the cage and not be able to find shelter. I hope she goes on to mate and lay many eggs and populate our timber with more of these beautiful giant moths.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jumping Spider

 This beautiful little jumping spider is Hentzia mitrata < I am unable to find a common name for it, but I think it should be called Orange-headed jumping spider. Just look at that bright copper colored forehead. This one is an adult male, they do not get very large and will only reach about 2 to 3 mm when full grown. This super tiny size makes them difficult to locate on vegetation sometimes.

Jumping spiders are completely harmless to humans, most cannot bite at all, and those can, won't unless they are being terribly molested. A friend of mine assured me they are safe to handle and even fun to use for programs with children. Because they are common it is a spider children can identify with....and they will "yo-yo' on a string made from silk as they dangle from your hand. I have not yet tried this with a school group, but I definitely plan to. Thanks Mark for the info and for sharing your love of spiders with me.

These spiders, while being perfectly harmless, can be intimidating with their habit of "jumping" quite rapidly from object to object, sometimes even jumping at you. This is all in the name of escape for them, they are merely trying to avoid being seen, captured or "yo-yo'd"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dinner is Served

This tiny crab spider caught this unfortunate syrphid fly and dined on him for supper tonight. It reminded me of one of my favorite poems:

The Spider and the Fly

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt 

Menage a Trois?

Hollyhock Weevils (Apion longirostre) seem to exist with one purpose in mind...reproduce. I have numerous hollyhock plants in the gardens and each year these super tiny weevils show up in large numbers and I rarely see them when they aren't in coitus. The only thing they might prefer more than this extra-curricural activity is eating. My poor hollyhock leaves are peppered with little holes that these weevils have so lovingly left behind.

At barely 1/4 of an inch, they sure pack a big punch. What they lack in size they make up for in sheer appetite. The female (pictured here on the bottom of this totem pole) has a snout that any elephant would envy. It is easily half as long or longer than it's overall body length. If this picture is anything to go would seem size really does matter. They will feed on the seeds, leaves and buds of the hollyhock. Why the long schnoz on the female? She uses it to chew her way into ovary of the buds of the hollyhock in order to lay her eggs. So this added length helps her reach this particular part of the plant. After the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the developing seed embryo, and pupate within the seed.

This weevil is native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor. It was first found in Georgia in 1914 and has since spread it's range exponentially. They are even expanding their range in their home countries and have been found in France in recent years.

Adults will overwinter in leaf litter and become active again when the hollyhocks begin making their appearance. Males often watch over females as they oviposit, which may be the case in this picture. I'm sure having two males riding piggy back would make things a bit more cumbersome for egg laying. Who says females aren't strong?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Marsh Fly

 This gorgeous little fly is a Marsh Fly (Euthycera arcuata) in the family Sciomyzidae. This fly is the only one representative of its genus in North America.

They are reported to feed on snail, snail eggs and slugs as larvae. Which if you have a slug problem these flies would be beneficial to have around.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Six-Spotted Fishing Spider

This gorgeous spider is the Six-Spotted Fishing Spider Dolomedes triton and they are pretty common in Missouri and throughout most of their range. They are easy to identify from from their greenish-brown bodies and white stripes on their cephalothorax, and twelve white spots on their abdomen. It is the six black spots on their underside that gives them their common name. They can get pretty large with a body measurement up to one inch and a legspan twice that large.

They will be found along the shoreline of shallow, calm waters, like Ponds, Lakes, Marshes and Slow-Moving Streams. They will walk on the aquatic plants hunting for insects to eat. Thee spiders are unique in being one of the few creatures able to walk on water. They can also dive underneath the water, row across the surface, and glide. They can walk down aquatic plants beneath the surface of the water and can remain under water for up to 30 minutes by trapping an air bubble between it's legs that it will use to breath oxygen. They glide by remaining perfectly still on the surface of the water and letting the wind blow them wherever it wants to. They walk on water with specially adapted hairs on their legs. Rowing is done by using some of their legs as oars to motivate them across the surface of the water.

Fishing spiders can escape predators in a number of ways, by jumping straight in the air, or running rapidly across the water or diving below the surface. Even on land they are quite quick and able to run away from danger. They will always be found near a lot of plants whether in the water or on the shore. This allows them to hide from predators.

These spiders are excellent hunters and have a lot of choices available to them. They can feed on aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, but more often than not they will feed on insects that happen to fall into the water and cannot escape again. Larger fishing spiders will even attack young newts, small frogs, tadpoles and minnows.

Female fishing spiders are larger than the males and females will not hesitate to kill and eat a male fishing spider. If a male approaches a female that has already mated she will most likely eat him. The male seriously lives life on the edge. Females lay their eggs inside a silken sac that she will carry to the shore and hide among the plants. She will remain near the egg sac and guard it until the eggs hatch. She will even remain with the spiderlings until they are ready to disperse. The spiderlings will over winter two times before they are old enough to mate.

Even though these spiders are apex hunters they still have to be ever vigilant of predators such as frogs, fish and birds. Excellent eyesight gives them an added advantage when avoiding predation.

These spiders are active during the day and are easily seen as they rest on the aquatic plants floating on top the waters surfaces. I've seen a dozen or more of these spiders already this year.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Water Strider

This odd looking bug is a Water Strider in the genus Gerris and they are found throughout North America. There are 47 species of water striders in North America within 8 genera.  Water Strider's are in the order hemiptera which is the same order that includes, stink bugs, cicadas, tree hoppers, assassin bugs and many other true bugs. Depending upon where you live you may call them any number of crazy names including water skaters, water skeeters, water scooters, water skippers, water skimmers, water bugs, skaters, skimmers, magic bugs and even Jesus Bugs because they "walk on water".

Like their name suggests water striders, stride along the top of the water. There are tiny hairs at the end of their legs that hold little water bubbles which enables them to manage this feat. They rely on water tension to be able to remain on top of the water, whether it is walking or standing still they have no worries of sinking below the surface. They are capable of moving very rapidly, and with little to no effort. They use their middle legs for locomotion, the front and back legs are used like a rudder.

These bugs are predatory and will feed on other water insects that reside just below the surface, or insects that happen to fall into the water. They use their powerful front legs that are adapted with a special pair of claws to grasp and hold onto their prey. They have piercing/sucking mouthparts that they use to stab their victim and suck them dry.

While they spend the biggest majority of their lives on top of the water they are capable of diving under water and remaining there for a short time if danger is nearby. Once the object of their distress has passed they will pop back up to the surface again. These insects are not good indicators for water pollution; simply because they reside on top of the water instead of within the water. Therefore they can tolerate polluted water sources relatively well. If the water they reside in is a temporary pool and dries up they are capable of burrowing into the mud and lying dormant until the water hole rehydrates.

Look for these insects in ponds, lakes and slow moving streams where they will entertain you with their antics of running across the water searching for food and mates.