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Family Hebridae - Velvet Water Bugs

Velvet Water Bug - Hebrus burmeisteri Velvet Water Bug - Merragata brunnea Hebridae: Merragata brunnea - Merragata brunnea
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 Gerromorpha (Semiaquatic Bugs)
Family Hebridae (Velvet Water Bugs)
Other Common Names
Sphagnum Bugs
Explanation of Names
Hebridae Amyot & Serville 1843
Numbers
15 spp. in 3 genera in NA (all but 3 spp. are in Hebrus)(1); ~220 spp. in 9 genera worldwide(2); 7 in 3 genera in FL(3), 4 in 2 genera in MI(4)
Size
1-3 mm(5)
Identification
keys in(3)
Range
Hebrus and Merragata widespread; Lipogomphus southern(6)
Habitat
semiaquatic habitats, esp. moist detritus or amongst floating plants, wet moss, margins of still waters; unlike other gerromorphans which favour the water surface, hebrids prefer marginal aquatic habitats(5)
Food
predators and scavengers; known to feed on springtails and other small arthropods(5)
Remarks
ideal indicators of wetlands(3)
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.
4.Bright E. (2002-2011) Aquatic Insects of Michigan
5.What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families
6.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.