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The elusive sea bug hermatobates heteroptera


, : The elusive sea bug hermatobates heteroptera. Pan Pacific Entomologist 53(2): 87-97

Hermatobates is a genus of little-known marine insects assoicated with coral reefs. Nine species [H. breddini, H. djiboutensis, H. haddoni, H. hawaiiensis, H. marchei, H. singaporensis, H. tiarae, H. walkeri, H. weddi] have been described from 14 type specimens. The literature is reviewd, and the type locality and distribution of all 9 spp. are given. Additional notes are presented on the biology and ecology of Hermatobates spp. observed on the shores of several Pacific islands, some are new locality records. These sea-bugs are agile and appear to be especially adapted to life on coral reefs. They hide in crevices during high tide periods, surrounding themselves in an air bubble, and come out to feed only during low tides. If washed away from their hiding places, they are able to live at the sea-surface for several days. Some of their adaptative features are illustrated.

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