Gerris thoracisus


10-12mm. Similar to the Common Pondskater, Gerris lacustris, but with an orange disc in the centre of the thorax. Two other Gerris species have this but G. thoracisus is the commonest of these. It is usually fully winged and able to fly.

Similar Species

The other two species with an orange thoracic disc are G. costai (which is larger) and G. lateralis which has patches of silver hairs along each side of the ventral surface of the abdomen.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Similar to other members of this family and detailed examination is needed to identify it to species level.


Found in ponds and lakes, often those with organically enriched or slightly polluted waters.

When to see it

Eggs are laid in April and May, which give rise to a first generation of adults by mid-summer. These produce a second generation, the adults of which overwinter. 

Life History

Eggs are laid on the floating leaves of aquatic plants.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map