WaterStriders: Water Striders

Description Format Details Source


Mating activity for water striders


A dataset with 10 observations on the following 3 variables.

  • AggressiveMale Hyper-aggressive male in group? No or Yes

  • FemalesHiding Proportion of time the female water striders were in hiding

  • MatingActivity Measure of mean mating activity (higher numbers meaning more mating)


Water striders are common bugs that skate across the surface of water. Water striders have different personalities and some of the males are hyper-aggressive, meaning they jump on and wrestle with any other water strider near them. Individually, because hyper-aggressive males are much more active, they tend to have better mating success than more inactive striders. This study examined the effect they have on a group. Four males and three females were put in each of ten pools of water. Half of the groups had a hyper-aggressive male as one of the males and half did not. The proportion of time females are in hiding was measured for each of the 10 groups, and a measure of mean mating activity was also measured with higher numbers meaning more mating.


Sih, A. and Watters, J., "The mix matters: behavioural types and group dynamics in water striders," Behaviour, 2005; 142(9-10): 1423.

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