Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Pond-skaters, Water Measurers, Marsh Treaders.

Salient features of adults. Dwelling (skating) on the surface of water.

Predacious, or feeding on dead arthropods (on living or dead arthropods). Large; 7–12 mm long; fliers, or non-fliers; with narrow-elongate bodies (slender, delicate); conspicuously stilt-legged. Head linear (with the eyes about half-way along its length). Rostrum clearly separated ventrally from the prosternum by a sclerotized gula; 3 segmented. Antennae longer than the head, readily visible from above; 4 segmented, or 5 segmented; non-aristate. Metathorax without laterally visible scent gland openings (metathoracic gland absent). Fore-wings well developed to vestigial or absent; in the resting insect lying more or less flat over the abdomen; more or less uniform in texture (completely hardened). Hind coxae mobile; rotatory. Tarsi 3 segmented. Claws all apical. Pulvilli absent.

Taxonomy. Suborder Heteroptera; Gerroidea.

British representation. 2 species in Britain; genera 1. Hydrometra. E.g., Hydrometra stagnorum (Long-headed Pond-skater).

Illustrations. • Hydrometra stagnorum (Long-headed Pond-skater: B. Ent. 32). • Hydrometra stagnorum (detail: B. Ent. 32). • Hydrometra stagnorum (dissections: B. Ent. 32). • Hydrometra stagnorum (legend+text: B. Ent. 32). • Hydrometra stagnorum (text: B. Ent. 32, cont.). • Hydrometra stagnorum, with assorted other water bugs. • Hydrometra stagnorum, with assorted unrelated taxa: 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.’.