Dig a small garden pond in spring, summer or autumn, fill it with water and within a few hours the surface will be being explored by pond skaters that have flown in from a nearby river, stream, pond or canal. Fast moving in the air and on the surface of the water, these communal water bugs are found wherever there is unpolluted freshwater.
Tiny midges and other small insects are their staple diet, but pond skaters, also referred to as water skaters, are fairly catholic in their tastes and will tackle just about any edible creature that doesn't threaten retaliation.
There are several species in the Gerris genus. As can be seen in the picture above, where the female has captured a Yellow Sally stonefly, the males are slightly shorter in the body and considerably slimmer than the females.