Water Bug Circus.
The water strider is the show's star. It can walk on water and skips and hops on the surface with the greatest of ease. The strider's feet make little dents in the water's surface, but never break through.
The water boatman can fly, but most of the time, it rows through the water using long oar-like back legs. These bugs use a silvery envelope of air when they dive. To stay down, they must hold on to something, or they pop back up to the surface!
Like its name says, the backswimmer swims on its back. Paddle-like legs let it swim just beneath the water. A bubble beneath its wings holds an air supply. When the air runs out, this bug sticks the tip of its abdomen above the water to get more.
At two inches or more, the giant water bug must seem like an elephant to the other circus bugs. These bugs are fierce hunters and even kill small fish. They can bite fingers, as well. Sometimes they're called "electric light bugs" because they swim toward a flashlight or fly around porch lights after dark.
These last performers can make you dizzy! Large groups of whirligig beetles spin very fast in different directions on the water's surface. They never collide, though, thanks to very sensitive antennae. Their remarkable eyes are divided into two parts. They can see on top of the water and below at the same time.
Look closely the next time you are near a creek or pond. You just might catch the next act of the water bugs' circus!
by D.L. Khvoroff