Water Bugs

What’s wriggling in our lakes, ponds, dams, streams and rivers? The more bug species we see, the healthier our waterways will be!

You will find more water bugs near plants and reeds in the shallows. Try different locations and seasons to see how life changes in our ponds.

Always supervise your children around water and always wear shoes (not bare feet). Don’t disturb the area and banks as they are fragile. If you’re quiet more animals and bugs will be present. Put back what you find.

  • Fairy shrimp Gumnut Trails illustration

    Fairy Shrimp or Scud.

    30mm long freshwater shrimp or scud. They can be found in unpolluted waters.

  • Water Boatman Gumnut Trails illustration

    Water Boatman

    15mm long and they swim on top of the water with their powerful back leg.

  • Mosquito Fish Gumnut Trails illustration

    Mosquito Fish

    60mm long freshwater fish that was introduced to control mosquitos. However they are now a pest in our waterways.

  • Tadpoles Gumnut Trails illustration


    Before Tadpoles become frogs or toads they only swim under water and breath through gills (which they lose later). Sizes vary from 30 to 100mm depending on age and species.

  • Mosquito Larva Gumnut Trails illustration

    Mosquito Larva

    12mm long and feeds on microorganisms in the water. A Larva becomes a Pupa and then the Mosquito will emerge from the pupal skin..

  • Midge Larva Gumnut Trails illustration

    Midge Larva

    12 - 14 mm long. They eat decomposing plant and animal matter and are also food for bigger insects, fish and more.

  • Water Strider Gumnut Trails water bug illustration

    Water Strider

    8 - 12mm long this Water Strider or Treader can walk on water! It uses the surface tension on the water to stay afloat.

  • Stonefly Nymph Gumnut Trails water bug illustration

    Stonefly Nymph

    10 - 30mm long with 4 wings on their backs. They can be found in unpolluted waters. They are harmless.

  • Water Mite Gumnut Trails water bug illustration

    Water Mite

    Only 4mm in size - this little Mite can be hard to spot. They prefer slow moving waters and will be found in unpolluted waters.

  • Dragonfly Gumnut Trails Water Bugs Illustration


    The Dragonfly has been around for 300million years! They hover in mid-air and catch mosquitos and other insects with their legs.

  • Damselfly Gumnut Trails water bugs illustration


    A Damselfly is smaller than a Dragonfly and has a body like a twig. It can be up to 1.5 to 2 inches long..