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Genus Gelastocoris

Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Big-eyed Toad Bug? - Gelastocoris oculatus - male - female Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Gelastocoris oculatus - Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Gelastocorid - Gelastocoris oculatus Big-Eyed Toad Bug - Gelastocoris oculatus Toad Bug - Gelastocoris rotundatus
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 Ochteroidea
Family Gelastocoridae (Toad Bugs)
Genus Gelastocoris
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gelastocoris Kirkaldy, 1897
Explanation of Names
From Greek gelasto, laugh; plus coris, a bug (1). The Century Dictionary (2) gives the meaning of the Greek word gelastos (γελαστος) as "laughable, ridiculous", and that makes sense in this context--this is a "ridiculous bug" in terms of its appearance.
2 spp. north of Mexico(3)
5-10 mm
A common, though well-camouflaged bug of muddy freshwater shorelines. Some characters:
walks, or sometimes, hops
wide oval flattened body with projecting sides of prothorax
bulging eyes
pronotal humeral angles are sharp in G. oculatus vs. rounded in G. rotundatus (which occurs in the southwest only)(4)
Comparison of the two North American species:
throughout the US and into so. Canada (G. oculatus across NA; G. rotundatus in AZ & NM)(3)
shores of quiet water bodies(5)
Predatory on smaller insects.
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid near water's edge in mud or sand, or under stones. Nymphs grow slowly if food is scarce. Adults overwinter, but few eggs hatch before early summer.(6)
Print References
Borror, entries for gelasto, coris (1)
The Century Dictionary, entry for gelastic (2)
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
3.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
4.How to Know the True Bugs
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.
5.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
6.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.