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Fossil water striders in the Oligocene/Miocene Dominican amber (Hemiptera: Gerromorpha)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

Most water striders and other semiaquatic bugs (Hemiptera, Gerromorpha) live on the surface film of freshwater. Adults are often flightless and are therefore not prone to be caught in resin exuded by trees on land and subsequently preserved as amber inclusions. Nevertheless, a small number of gerromorphan bugs have so far been reported from amber. The present paper reports on six species of Gerromorpha in the Oligocene/Miocene Dominican amber, describing Brachymetroides atra gen. et sp. n. (Gerridae: Charmatometrinae), Microvelia grimaldii sp.n. and M. electra sp.n. (Veliidae: Microveliinae) and redescribing Electrobates spinipes Andersen & Poinar (Gerridae: Electrobatinae), Microvelia polhemi Andersen (Veliidae: Microveliinae), and Halovelia electrodominica Andersen & Poinar (Veliidae: Haloveliinae). Finally, the phylogenetic, palaeobiological, and biogeographic significance of these amber fossils are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark (, Email:


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