“Aquatic Caterpillars, Snout Moths”
“Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies”
“Dragonflies and Damselflies”
“Creeping Water Bugs”
The family Naucoridae includes 5 North American genera with roughly 20 species. However, Pelocoris is the only genus found in the East. Pelocoris typically inhabits ponds or quiet water. They are generally thought as clingers, but are good swimmers as well. They are piercing predators, feeding on other small invertebrates. Adults of some species have up to four million tiny hydrophobic hairs per square mm that help hold a bubble of air (plastron) against the ventral spiracles while underwater. Some species also fan this plastron with their hind legs, to increase the current moving across it, and thus increase the diffusion of oxygen from the water.
Mid-Atlantic: 7 and higher
Piercer / Predator
Widespread (east of the Rocky Mtns.)
Eyes Contiguous With Head
Only 1 Genus
+ Expanded Character List
Order: Adults: With or without wings. If wings present, forewings typically leathery or hard basally and translucent and flexible apically. Nymphs: With or without wing pads. Segmented legs present. Mandibles hidden within needle-like beak in adults and nymphs.
Family: Similar in appearence to Belostomatidae (giant water bugs) except that margins of eyes are contiguous with anterior margin of head and retractile breathing straps absent from end of abdomen. Beak cylindrical and 3- or 4-segmented. Antennae shorter than head and located beneath eyes, not readily visible dorsally. Middle and hind legs with fringe-like hairs, useful for swimming. Legs are raptorial (suitable for use in predation) with broad femora, and weakly convex dorsally.
Genus: Similar in appearence to Belostomatidae (giant water bugs) except that margins of eyes are contiguous with anterior margin of head in Naucoridae. Beak cylindrical and 3- or 4-segmented. Gula present. Antennae shorter than head and located beneath eyes, not readily visible dorsally. Middle and hind legs have fringe-like hairs, useful for swimming. Legs are raptorial, suitable for use in predation, with broad femora, and weakly convex dorsally.