the largest water bug family, with 125 spp. in 17 genera in our area (all but 1 sp. in the Corixinae)(1)
and >600 spp. in 35 genera worldwide(2)
arranged in 6 subfamilies(3)
selected local faunas: TBA spp. in Canada(4)
, ~60 in MI(5)
, 30 in FL(6)
, 45 in CA & adjacent states(7)
, 44 in NH(8)
, 23 in OK(9)
, ~43 in TX(10)
Overview of our fauna (* –taxa not yet in the guide; + -non-native):
Tribe Corixini Arctocorisa
Body elongate and oval, dorsal surface flattened, with narrow dark crosslines. Front legs short, tarsi 1-segmented and scoop-shaped. Hind legs elongate, oar-like, with fine hairs(11)
The species look very simlar and can be distinguished mainly by male genitalia, protarsi, elytral patterns, etc.
Critical сharacters for genus identification: Identifying corixids can be a daunting task as members of different genera can be superficially similar. For image-based genus-level identification please provide:
1) Both dorsal and ventral habitus shots of preferably dry specimen (water can obscure important features, i.e. the dorsal colour pattern, texture of the hemielytra, etc.)
2) Lateral view. The key diagnostic traits here are the nodal furrow and translucent (pruinose) areas on the claval suture and the area immediately posterior to the nodal furrow.
3) Facial shot showing rostrum details.
4) Shot of the upper ventral half of the insect (showing prothoracic lobes, mesepimeron, and scent glands.
5) Shot of the dorsal abdominal segments (tergites)- sex determination often relies on examination of the dorsal terminal segments; males generally have asymmetrical dorsal terminalia and may or may not have a black spot-like structure called a "strigil" depending on genus; females have symmetrical terminalia.
6) Palae, especially of the male- of some importance in genus identification but generally more critical in species ID.
Size may also be important, as some genera have a specific size range.
Keys to genera in(12)(5)(13)
; keys to spp. in(14)
. Species identification requires examination of specific features, e.g. genitalia, male palae (front tarsi), ventral structures, etc. Species of some genera may be identifiable from photos, but spp. of Sigara, Hesperocorixa
, etc. large genera are unlikely to be identifiable.
Keys to spp.: Michigan(5)
; key to AB genera in(13)
Keys and illustrations of structural details: Usinger, 1956 (15)
Worldwide and throughout NA
Common in ponds. Also found in birdbaths. A few species live in streams, and others are found in brackish pools along the seashore above the high tidemark.
Algae, detritus, other aquatic organisms (mosquito larvae, brine shrimp)(2)
; a few (uniquely among Hemiptera) consume small particles of solid food(1)
eggs are cemented to underwater objects, sometimes forming a dense mat(1)
Males make sounds by rubbing their front legs against the front of their head(1)
, Corixidae do NOT bite.
Adults fly to lights, sometimes in great numbers
(NB: Corixidae swim dorsal side up, Notonectidae swim upside-down)