Length: 2.0 - 2.5 mm
The Microvelia are conical at the front and have coarsely granulate eyes. The legs are short but stout. The front tarsi have two segments, while the middle and hind tarsi have three. The various species have both a winged and a wingless form.
The inveterate Heteropterophile J. R. de la Torre-Bueno wrote in 1923 about this genus:
"Be it pond, lake or stream, it is always possible to secure these tiny beings hiding among the grasses or walking about the banks or stalking their game on the green fields of duck-weed floating on some placid pool. As regards wing length the members of this genus are dimorphic, or even polymorphic, and the winged and wingless forms are so notably different that they have frequently been taken for distinct species" (quoted in Blatchley, 1926).
Note that this is both the genus page for Microvelia and the family page for Smaller Water Striders
American Insects site