Brine flies (Ephydra gracilis) on surface tension of Great Salt Lake
Organisms that are associated with the surface tension film on water are referred to as 'neuston'. Here, adult brine flies, Ephydra gracilis, stand on the surface tension created by hydrogen bonding of the water molecules. Brine flies profliferate in the Great Salt Lake, with the larvae feeding on periphyton associated with stromatolites and even the soft lake sediments. After pupation, the adults emerge and congregate by the millions along the lake shore. The are non-biting, and spend their time as adults mating. Details of the life cycle are available in Wurtsbaugh et al. 2011. Science of the Total Environment 409:4425-4434.