Monday, August 23, 2010

Strange Water Bugs

When I went down to take a few scenery pictures of this river I found something very strange. At least it was strange to me. In the water was, you guessed it, a group of strange water bugs. Not just a small group, but there were thousands of these bugs!

I was taking pictures of a few things down here, including the river. I saw a butterfly flitting around. I got a few good pictures of a beautiful looking dragonfly. But even with those fun creatures these were by far the most strange and interesting things I had seen that day.

Now these might not be so strange to some of you, but I've never seen any water bugs like these before. I guess the next thing to do would be to show them to you. So here we go!

This is a small sample of what I saw when I looked in the water. Pulling back a bit would show thousands of these bugs swimming around on the surface of this stream. They looked really creepy gliding around there. I wasn't planning on getting wet in the first place, but these bugs sealed the deal for me.

Here's an even closer shot of one of the bugs. I don't think those lines you see all around the bug are legs. I think they're only part of the depression in the water that the bug is making. Maybe they are the bug's legs, but I don't think so.

If you're wondering why I have such close up pictures but none from farther away that show the whole mass of these bugs, well, that's because the sun that was giving the water this same golden quality also made it too hard to get a good picture from farther away.

But wait! All is not lost! Over at Nature Center Magazine I have video of these bugs! The video shows everything you see here plus it shows them from a little farther away. You might get a better perspective of the amount of these creatures from that.

All of those dark spots under the water are the shadows of the bugs. It was hard to pick out the bugs from the shadows in the lcd screen of the camera. I still wonder what these strange bugs might be. They look like they almost have round bodies like beetles, but they're a little more elongated. Maybe they're a kind of cockroach. Yuck!

Still, they were very interesting because of the mystery behind their identities. I wouldn't touch them for fear that they might bite, and the fact that I never touch things while I'm out there. These bugs were fun to see, but I kept an eye on them the whole time.


Nature Center Magazine - The Mystery Continues! Our Cool Nature Video this week shows these same strange water bugs in action!

21 comments:

  1. All those bugs would have freaked me out. I'm not crazy about bugs at all. I thought the dark spots were just rocks until you pointed out they were shadows from the bugs

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  2. Well, that wouldn't be a swimming spot with all those bugs there. Interesting isn't it, that they swim on the surface of the water? To what purpose, I wonder. I'd like to know, Ratty.

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  3. How to imagine thousands of water bugs swimming in the water?
    It must be very creepy.....
    They will crawl up to your legs, your.... if you go inside the water..

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  4. This is a water beetle. It is impossible to identify more definitely from the photo but there are over 1000 species of water beetles in the US. This is likely in the predatory group which I believe is the largest group of water beetles.

    Water beetles are really fascinating in that like butterflies go through complete metamorphosis: larval, pupal, adult stages. They belong to the Family Dytiscidae. It is one of many benthic macroinvertebrates found in our precious lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands.

    Nice post. Thanks.

    Bill:www.wildramblings.com

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  5. YUCK! I wouldn't have even waded in to get the photos, Ratty..you are one brave man!!

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  6. Well they don't spin round and round, so they aren't whirlygig beetles, but they have to be some relative.

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  7. This is some kind of water scavenger beetle Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae sp.

    http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/bimg135.html

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  8. I already said I had no idea what these were over at nature centre magazine....I think maybe we don't have them in the UK...at least thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!

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  9. I would say water boatmen,Corixidae, with about 120 species in North America.Send to mobugs.blogspot.com for a poasitive result.

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  10. I don't think I've seen these before. Very interesting!

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  11. I have never seen these so I have no idea and they are strange looking. I'm anxious to find out what they are.

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  12. I've seen them before, but I know nothing about them. They are kinda funny floating around the top of the water. :)

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  13. I've seen these before and just call them creepy water bugs.

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  14. those water bugs looks so strange, yet they are strikingly uique floating on the water.

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  15. I wonder how they taste. And judging from all the humans' reactions here, if I wanted to eat them, I would have them all to myself.

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  16. I agree with Ann...it's kinda creepy! But I'd interested to see one -floating bug.

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  17. I've just watched your video on Nature Center Magazine. Now I descover this post here. It's great to read the story behind the video. Thank you for both.

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  18. So, I am not positive as I can only see the bugs from your picture. But I believe those are the same water bugs that if you catch one, it's easiest to try to scoop them up when they are all together and then let all go but one. Anyway, if you catch one and very gently pick it up and smell it's tummy it smells sweet like strawberries. I kid you not. I do not know why it does or even what they are, but I go hiking around rivers a lot and I have been shown this by a true outdoors man. Try it, it's really strange. :)

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  19. I know what these are called. They are whirligig beetles. They do emit a sweet smell when they stressed or feel in danger.

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  20. I called my friend and we talked she said she went swimming in a lake and she say these little bugs with tiny legs and a little bob on there but.

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  21. We had these all over in Mississippi and we called them apple seed bugs. They won't get near you and they're very fast! As kids we tried catching them, but had very little luck. The few that we did catch did not bite at all. They just pulled their legs in like a roly poly would until you put them back into the water. I wish I knew what the actual name is for these guys.

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