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Family Hydrometridae - Water Measurers

water bug - Hydrometra martini Marsh Treader along slow stream - Hydrometra Water measurer - Hydrometra hungerfordi Walking stick - Hydrometra Hydrometra sp., Marsh Treader - Hydrometra hungerfordi Hydrometra martini Hydrometridae - Hydrometra martini Small, Thin Insect - Hydrometra
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 Hydrometridae (Water Measurers)
Other Common Names
Marsh Treaders, Water Treaders, Pond-skaters
Explanation of Names
Hydrometridae Billberg 1820
9 spp. in a single genus in our area(1); ~130 spp. in 7 genera (3 subfamilies) total(2)
3-22 mm(2); our spp. 7-16 mm(3)
resemble small walkingsticks; eyes bulging, located about halfway along head; antennae 4-segmented, slightly longer than head, inserted near front of head; wings absent to functional
worldwide (more diverse in the tropics)(4); in NA, mostly eastern, with some species extending to the west
on emergent/floating vegetation along edges of ponds, marshes, and pools of slow-moving streams(2)(3)
newly emerged, slow-moving, dying, or dead invertebrates (midges, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, ostracods, springtails, etc.)(5)(3)(4)
Life Cycle
eggs are laid either on vertical surfaces of plant stems or on ground several centimetres above water level(5)
See Also
walkingsticks (Phasmatodea) (terrestrial, much larger)
thread-legged bugs (Emesinae) (terrestrial, with shorter heads)
stilt bugs (Berytidae) (terrestrial, with shorter heads and clubbed antennae)
Internet References
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. Env. Prot., Tallahassee, FL. 186 pp.
4.What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families
5.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.