Water Cricket - Velia caprai

    Description

    Length: up to 8.5mm. May be winged or wingless. It has a stouter and shorter body than pondskaters, with two transverse red lines along the abdomen in adults plus pairs of white spots on the thorax and abdomen.

    Similar Species

    Velia saulii is very similar, though much less common in VC55. Velia caprai is best identified from wingless females which show a narrow, sinuous collar-like tergum immediately below the thorax which is lacking in V. saulii.

    Photo ID?
    Recording advice

    There are two very similar Water Crickets. A good dorsal macro photo of a wingless female should show the key ID feature. Without a suitable photo you should explain your ID method.

    Habitat

    Still and slow moving water and streams. Rarely in ponds.

    When to see it

    All year (adults over-winter)

    Life History

    The eggs are laid in long rows on floating plants and are found in May and June, nymphs from June to August. Adults feed on various small insects that have died and fallen into the water. Five larval stages, and two or three generations a year have been observed.

    UK Status

    Common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map