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Family Pleidae - Pygmy Backswimmers

Pygmy Backswimmer - Neoplea striola Resaca Pygmy-backswimmer, side view - Paraplea Neoplea striola? Pygmy Backswimmer Pleidae - Neoplea Pleidae, Neoplea - Neoplea Pygmy backswimmer - Neoplea dorsal 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)
Explanation of Names
Pleidae Fieber 1817
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 strongly sclerotized, without membrane; metatarsus with two distinct apical claws(1)(4)
protarsus in Neoplea 3-segmented (basal segment very small); in Paraplea, 2-segmented (basal segment very small)(1)
Range
worldwide and across NA(2)
Habitat
on vascular aquatic plants in standing water(2)
Food
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