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Family Pleidae - Pygmy Backswimmers

water bug - Neoplea striola Pygmy Backswimmer - Neoplea striola Resaca Pygmy-backswimmer, side view - Paraplea Pygmy backswimmer - Neoplea striola Pygmy backswimmer - Neoplea striola Pleidae? Pleidae Pygmy Backswimmer Pleidae - Neoplea
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 Notonectoidea
Family Pleidae (Pygmy Backswimmers)
Numbers
Two genera in NA, with 5 nominate spp. (the family is in need of revision and the real number is unknown)(1)(2); ~40 spp. in 3 genera worldwide(3)
Size
1.9-2.3mm(1)
Identification
Minute, strongly convex, usually pale-colored bugs; hemelytra without membrane, strongly sclerotized and beetle-like; hind tarsus with two distinct apical claws(1)(4)
in Neoplea, the protarsus is 3-segmented (with the basal segment very small), in Paraplea, 2-segmented (with the basal segment very small)(1)
Range
Across NA(2)
Habitat
on vascular aquatic plants in standing water(2)
Food
prey on microcrustaceans, mosquito larvae and other invertebrates(2)(4)
Remarks
poor swimmers, prefer to walk on or through thick submerged vegetation(4)
Works Cited
1.Identification manual for the aquatic and semi-aquatic Heteroptera of Florida
Epler J.H. 2006. FL Dept. Env. Prot., Tallahassee, FL. 186 pp.
2.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
3.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.
4.Australian Faunal Directory