Lambir Water Strider Project (proposal)

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Correlation between water strider size and territorial area



Water striders are fierce predators and predators are known to have great impacts on food chains - their significance in this freshwater area is relatively unknown. No such studies have been done within the Biodiversity of Borneo course, and we want to expand on this area of knowledge, both for the database and for our own curiosity.

Within a population, individuals will have varying body sizes. Water strider body size may affect territory size. Determining a positive correlation between body size and territory is necessary in understanding dominance behavior and social structure within the species.


Does water strider body size relate to the area of its territory?


Water striders with larger bodies will defend larger territories.


  • One site hosting our selected species will be chosen, and observations/captures will be made at timed intervals .
  • Two independent observations by two independent women will be made to record the movement of one water strider for each interval. Records will be made on graph paper which will be used to scale to measure the area of the strider's movement range.
  • Recorders will also note whether an intra-species interaction occurs.
  • After area is calculated, the targeted water strider will be caught with small fish nets using state-of-the-art Harvard-NUS developed technological methods.
  • Body size of each water strider will be recorded before its release back into its habitat.
  • This will be repeated for the second day of observations/capture as well.


Using the recorded body sizes and calculations of territorial area extrapolated from the records of graph paper, we will test if there is a correlation between these two continuous variables, and how strong that relationship is.

We will analyze the data with a correlation test and general linear models by manipulating the diverse and robust platform of R, an incredible statistics program.


  • Hill, D. S. & Abang, F. (2005), The Insects of Borneo (Including South East & East Asia), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia.