figure

In this figure, N refers to the number of species tested.  The error bar is the SE of species means.


Movie links to these behaviors:

Swim

Swim-skim (skimming on the surface with lateral oscillations of the abdomen, as used in swimming)

Rowing

6-leg skim

4-leg skim by stoneflies; many mayflies do same thing

Hind-leg skim

Flying (after jumping takeoff from water)

Citations:

Marden, J.H., B.C. O'Donnell, M.A. Thomas, and J.Y. Bye. 2000. Surface-skimming stoneflies and mayflies: the taxonomic and mechanical diversity of two-dimensional aerodynamic locomotion. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 73, 751-764.

Thomas, M.A., K.A. Walsh, M.R. Wolf, B.A. McPheron, and J.H. Marden. 2000. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of evolutionary trends in stonefly wing structure and locomotor behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 97:13178-13183. (A figure in this paper maps these behaviors onto a phylogenetic tree of the Plecoptera)

Marden, J.H.  2008. Evolution and physiology of flight in aquatic insects.  In: Aquatic Insects: Challenges to Populations, ed. J. Lancaster.  CABI Press.

Thomas, M.A., K.A. Walsh, M.R. Wolf, B.A. McPheron, and J.H. Marden. 2000. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of evolutionary trends in stonefly wing structure and locomotor behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 97:13178-13183.


 Additional relevant materials

A teaching exercise using these data is also available.

A link to an instructor's version can be obtained by emailing me at jhm10@psu.edu.

 An important movie link that is not contained in any of the above links shows gill flapping by mayfly, stonefly, and damselfly nymphs (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Odonata). Here's another more modern movie of gill flapping by a green drake mayfly nymph (Ephemera guttulata). 


Fossil evidence

A 2012 paper describing a trace fossil made by what appears to be a 310MY surface skimmer is here.  A movie showing surface skimming stoneflies moving from water onto a moist sediment shoreline goes with this paper.