Mystery bug named!

Thanks to Dr Cecil Smith at the GMNH, the mystery bug has a name: it's Microvelia americana, a tiny water strider. A larger relative of this strider may be viewed on my water strider page, and you can see the similarity in shape (Rhagovelia, near the bottom of the page):

Water striders


The above photo was taken by Jim Flynn on 14 Nov 2003. This was in Clinch County, Georgia (next to the FL border in the southeast). He had just watched the male Orthemis ferruginea (Roseate Skimmer) consume a small bee, when he noticed the small bug (Hemiptera) dangling from the skimmer's mouthparts. It is unknown how the strider became attached to the skimmer mouthparts, but one possibility is that it became caught when the skimmer was taking some water in flight. If you have a better theory, please let me know...

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Note: This image (c) Jim Flynn, 2003