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Family Gelastocoridae - Toad Bugs

Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Gelastocorid - Gelastocoris oculatus Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus 073112Bug1 - Gelastocoris oculatus BioBlitz Bug 99 - Gelastocoris oculatus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Nepomorpha (Aquatic Bugs)
Superfamily Ochteroidea
Family Gelastocoridae (Toad Bugs)
Explanation of Names
"Laughing Bug" or possibly "Laughable/Funny Bug."
Numbers
small family, with 8 spp. in 2 genera in our area(1) and ~110 spp. in 3 genera total(2)
Size
6-11 mm
Identification
Generally oval, flattened, cryptic, with bulging eyes and antennae hidden under the head.
Key to genera (adapted from(3))
Fore leg with two claws, the tarsus well separated from the tibia; profemora not broadly triangular; pronotum at base of head as wide as eyes ... ... Gelastocoris
Fore leg with one claw (two in nymphs!), the tarsus looks fused to the tibia; profemora very broadly triangular; pronotum at base of head wider at front than eyes ... ... Nerthra
Range
primarily so. hemisphere(2); Nerthra has worldwide distribution, Gelastocoris is confined to the New World; in NA, one sp. occurs across the continent, others restricted to the south(3)
Habitat
Gelastocoris are usually found along the edges of streams/ponds/lakes; Nerthra often far from water(3)
Food
small arthropods
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Biodiversity of the Heteroptera
Henry T.J. 2009. In: Foottit R.G., Adler P.H., eds. Insect biodiversity: Science and society. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell: 223-263.
3.Identification manual for the aquatic and semi-aquatic Heteroptera of Florida
Epler J.H. 2006. FL Dept. of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee, FL. 186 pp.