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Biology of Halobates (Heteroptera: Gerridae)

Until about 10 years ago Halobates was probably known to only a handful of entomologists; outside this segment of the entomological world it was generally unknown. However, during the last 10 years there has been a great deal of research on various aspects of the biology of this unique insect genus, It has now become a well-known organism among marine biologists; ironically though, it is still not well-known among entomologists. Insects are the most common of the metazoans, but it was generally thought that they are absent from the oceans, which cover some 75% of the earth's surface. We now know that insects in at least 14 orders, with some 1400 species, occur in various marine habitats (26), although in the open seas we find only members of the genus Halobates. These sea skaters, or ocean striders, are in the Family Gerridae of the Order Hemiptera and were discovered some 160 years ago by Eschscholtz (44). He included three species in his first description of the genus but said nothing about their biology. Between 1822 and 1883, when Buchanan-White described the Halobates collected during the Challen­ ger Expedition, few papers were published on this genus. White (82) in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Entomology Annual Reviews
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