Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Lesser Water boatmen.

Salient features of adults. Foraging under water.

Phytophagous (mainly on algae), or predacious. Tiny to large; 3–13 mm long; the males very noisy, emitting loud, continuous sounds, or not extremely noisy (generating sound by rubbing the spinose inside of the front femur against the tip of the rostrum); fliers; swimming and moving under water the right way up; relatively stout bodied. Head non-linear (wider than long). Rostrum clearly separated ventrally from the prosternum by a sclerotized gula. Antennae inserted underneath the head and much shorter than it, generally invisible from above; non-aristate. Ocelli absent. Scutellum relatively small. Fore-wings well developed; in the resting insect lying more or less flat over the abdomen; differentiated into a basally thickened and a distally membranous region; with a clavus. Fore-legs non-raptorial (rather, they are usually modified into scoops).

Each pair of legs modified differently, the fore-legs as small scoops, the middle pair long and slender, with only the hind-legs hair-fringed for swimming; middle and front tarsi one-segmented.

Taxonomy. Suborder Heteroptera; Notonectoidea.

British representation. 33 species in Britain; genera 8. Arctocorisa, Callocorixa, Corixa, Cymatia, Glaenocorisa, Hesperocorixa, Micronecta, Sigara.

Illustrations. • Corixa punctata, Hyocoris cimicoides (Southwood & Leston). • Corixa punctata and other aquatic bugs (Southwood & Leston). • Corixa punctata, Cymatia coleoptrata, Micronecta scholtzi, Sigara (4 spp.), with Ranatra, Notonecta and Plea: Saunders (1892)..

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.