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Romantic couple skaters

Romantic couple skaters
Photo Information
Copyright: K H Fung (khfung) (50)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-24
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-06-25 2:03
Viewed: 3924
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Skimming over the surface of water like a pair of skillful skaters performing couple skating, the pair of Aquarius remigis shown here (previously classified as Gerris remigis), well known as water striders or pond skaters, are actually having sex supported by a thin film of water surface only.
I capture this couple in a lotus pond in Hong Kong Park on a bright sunny day. They moved very fast and were gone immediately following my photo.
This insect can be easily found in ponds, streams and wetland in Hong Kong where there is quiet water.
By virtue of their special ability to stay on top of the surface film of water making good use of surface tension, this insect feeds on other insects that have fallen on the surface of the water. In fact, the water surface serves like a spider web for this insect.
The male insect can sense a female insect through special vibrations on the water.
The supernatural power of this insect to stay on top of the water film without piercing through the mensicus depends on special nanoconstruction of small hairs (microseta) on the legs and body of the insect allowing them to trap small pockets of air.
The front pair of legs of the insect is for catching prey. Rowing is performed by the middle pair of legs. The hind pair of legs are for steering and braking.
So enjoy watching this remarkable insect!
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo due to large cropping factor.

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Hi Fung,
Though the photo is not well but the picture is well composed and subject is very nice. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Romantic indeed.
They are common but it is thrue that it's a nightmare to try to shoot them (I never managed)

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