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76   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

touch the water, where the long-legged skippers are hurrying in hasty skating-like strides hither and thither. These are a species of bugs. There is a rather large family of them. The older name of our species is Gerris remiges. If one will throw crumbs of bread to them they will eagerly seize bits of it and scurry away as fast as possible. Some of them are provided with wings, but I have never yet observed one of them flying. About midsummer one may see myriads of young ones, small copies of the parents. They are all sharp-sighted and quick to move on the appearance of danger from below or above, especially from the water. It is very interesting to notice how their feet press the water into little dimples, but do not become wet and sink into it ; they are clad all over with waterproof down. Many of them live over winter, mostly crawling under water in favorable localities among sunken brush and drift-wood. In the spring the eggs are laid on twigs and dead grasses about the water. They live on smaller insects, but not leaving the water for that purpose.

These little oarsmen are not the only claim-ants of these shores. Here are other boatmen with oars, but they do not perch themselves up on long stilt-like legs, but rest their bodies flat on the water. These are the " whirligig beetles, "


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