Eocene Green River Water Strider
Water Strider (Family Gerridae)
Green River Formation
Middle Eocene
Lincoln County, Wyoming
Seen here is a very good example of a true bug (Order Hemiptera) water strider of the family Gerridae. It is an aquatic insect that had a very light-weight body and long legs that allow them to live on the surface of the water, running or skating on the surface. They fed on smaller insects that fell onto the surface or small insects just below the surface. The four rear legs are long for skimming over the water's surface and the front pair of legs is short and used to capture food. There are about 500 known living species of water strider. The family Gerridae is thought to have originated in the Cretaceous.