Australian Water Bugs. (Hemiptera - Heteroptera, Gerromorpha & Nepomorpha): Their Biology and Identification

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More About This Textbook


Water bugs are familiar insects in aquatic habitats throughout the World. They belong to the order Hemiptera, the largest insect order with incomplete metamorphosis. There are basically two kinds: (1) the semiaquatic bugs (Gerromorpha) which live upon the water surface and (2) the true water bugs (Nepomorpha) which live beneath the water surface. Water bugs are found in a wide variety of natural habitats from small, temporary pools to larger ponds and lakes, from small streams to rivers, and from inland freshwater bodies to coastal mangroves, tidal pools of coral reefs, and the surface of the ocean. Water bugs are chiefly predators or scavengers, feeding on any prey they can master, from tiny crustaceans and insects to tadpoles and small fish. They play a major role in aquatic ecosystems and may serve as indicators of the biological quality of aquatic habitats. They are chiefly beneficial to man since many species prey on mosquitoes and are themself preyed upon by fish. Because of their diverse lifestyles and because they are easily observed in their natural habitats, water bugs are excellent model organisms in evolutionary biology, ecology, and conservation biology. This handbook is the first comprehensive guide facilitating the identification of Australian water bugs. It provides an overview on all 15 families, 17 subfamilies, and 55 genera known to occur on mainland Australia, Tasmania and nearby islands. Illustrated keys, featuring a minimum of technical language, are offered to assist with the identification of adult water bugs. For each genus, the handbook includes a description of the characters used to identify the genus and to separate the genus from similar genera, an illustration to show overall appearance ('habitus') of a representative species, an illustrated key to species recorded from Australia, overview of the biology of the genus, and a map showing the locations where the genus has been found in Australia. Incl. 8 colour plates and 110 black and white plates with line drawings and scanning electron micrographs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788788757781
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Series: Entomonograph Series, #14
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,427,065
  • Product dimensions: 6.64 (w) x 9.78 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Table of Contents

Abstract 6
Acknowledgements 7
Introduction 9
Biology and ecology 19
Classification and phylogeny 38
Identification 47
Collecting methods and specimen preparation 58
Key to the families of Australian water bugs 62
Infraorder gerromorpha 67
Family mesoveliidae 67
Family hebridae 75
Family hydrometridae 82
Family hermatobatidae 90
Family veliidae 101
Family gerridae 155
Infraorder nepomorpha 211
Family nepidae 211
Family belostomatidae 225
Family corixidae 233
Family aphelocheiridae 254
Family naucoridae 259
Family ochteridae 264
Family gelastocoridae 272
Family notonectidae 282
Family pleidae 304
References 309
App. 1 Checklist and distribution of Australian water bugs 327
Index 341
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