The shore bug is a jumpy character with an oval shape and bug-eyes.

I found several of them in and near seasonal ponds at Mount Pisgah recently. They’re jittery, and make short hops when something comes near, like a camera. 

One research paper I found says these true bugs use two different leaping systems. In the first, the insect jumps and leaves its wings closed. In the second, the wings are opened before the bug loses contact with the ground, and then they’re flapped.  

The paper concludes that neither method is faster or nets the insect a longer jump. However, the takeoff angle is greater with wing-assistance, and propels the bug higher than the other jump.

Whichever way they were jumping when I observed them, they don’t go very far, but it is an effective method to evade photographers. 

Saldula genus bugs are predators, and they eat small aquatic invertebrates.

There’s a saltwater species that lives in marshes on the Oregon Coast. A paper referenced below says while most shore bugs live, as you’d suppose, on the shore, the coastal bug lives below the tide line, and can be submerged for up to nine hours!

Stay curious!

See more of Karen’s work here.


Flight pattern study:

Paper on an Oregon Coast species from 1976: