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Family Corixidae - Water Boatmen

Water Boatman - Callicorixa audeni - female Corixid Water boatman on my car Water boatman - callicorixa? - female BioBlitz Corixid 2 Water Boatman - Trichocorixa calva - female Corixid - Sigara Sigara mississippiensis - male
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 Corixoidea
Family Corixidae (Water Boatmen)
the largest water bug family, with ~125 spp. in 16 genera in North America north of Mexico(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):
Family Corixidae
Subfamily Cymatiainae Cymatia
Subfamily Corixinae
3-11 mm(1) (1.5-16 mm worldwide(3))
Dorsum flattened, with narrow dark crosslines. Front legs short, tarsi 1-segmented and scoop-shaped. Hind legs oar-like, with fine hairs(11)
Critical сharacters for genus identification: 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 colour pattern, texture of hemielytra, etc. key feature)
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 body 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. MI(5), FL(6), CA(15); key to AB genera in(13)
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)
Life Cycle
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). Micronecta scholtzi is known as the loudest animal relative to body size. Males of Notonectidae also make courtship calls by rubbing their front legs on the rostrum. In Buenoa, these sounds can be heard several meters away.
Unlike Notonectidae, Corixidae do NOT bite.
Adults fly to lights, sometimes in great numbers
See Also
Notonectidae (Corixidae swim dorsal side up, Notonectidae swim upside down)
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.Australian Faunal Directory
4.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Canada and Alaska
Maw, H.E.L., R.G. Foottit, K.G.A. Hamilton and G.G.E. Scudder. 2000. NRC Research Press.
5.Bright E. (2002-2011) Aquatic Insects of Michigan
6.Identification manual for the aquatic and semi-aquatic Heteroptera of Florida
Epler J.H. 2006. FL Dept. Env. Prot., Tallahassee, FL. 186 pp.
7.List of freshwater macroinvertebrate taxa from California and adjacent states
Richards A.B., Rogers D.C. 2011. Southwest Association of Freshwater Invertebrate Taxonomists (SAFIT). 266 pp.
8.University of New Hampshire Insect and Arachnid Collections
9.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Oklahoma
10.Ziser S.W. (2008-2012) The aquatic invertebrates of Texas
11.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
12.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
13.Clifford H.F. (1991) Aquatic invertebrates of Alberta
14.Corixidae of the Western Hemisphere
Hungerford, Herbert Barker. 1948. University of Kansas Publications.
15.Aquatic Insects of California
Robert L. Usinger, Editor. 1956. University of California Press.