Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Hebridae - Velvet Water Bugs

Velvet Water Bug - Hebrus burmeisteri Velvet Water Bug - Merragata brunnea Hebridae: Merragata brunnea - Merragata brunnea Hebridae - Hebrus Velvet Water Bug for CA - Merragata hebroides Hebridae Tiny Bug on Shore - Hebrus Chinch Bug - Hebrus burmeisteri - female
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)
Superfamily Hebroidea
Family Hebridae (Velvet Water Bugs)
Other Common Names
Sphagnum Bugs
Explanation of Names
Hebridae Amyot & Serville 1843
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)
1-3 mm(5)
keys in(3)
Hebrus and Merragata widespread; Lipogomphus southern(6)
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)
predators and scavengers; known to feed on springtails and other small arthropods(5)
ideal indicators of wetlands(3)
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.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.