chapter  24
10 Pages

Small Aquatic Bugs (Nepomorpha) with Slight or Underestimated Economic Importance

The suborder Nepomorpha comprises 11 families, 2 of which are ripicolous, the others aquatic. Belostomatids, nepids, and also naucorids, treated in previous chapters, are of some economic importance. Most other families (Notonectidae, Corixidae, Pleidae, Helotrephidae, Aphelocheiridae, Gelastocoridae, Ochteridae) seem economically unimportant; however, there is the question whether the members of these families really lack economic importance or whether their roles in those food webs that are important to humans or in the conservation of nature are merely not known. Small predaceous or omnivorous aquatic bugs are often very abundant in various types of water bodies, and under certain conditions they may be as important as the large predaceous species. Biologically they are probably the most important adult insects in the littoral region of lakes and ponds (see Hutchinson 1993). The aim of this chapter is to show their real or anticipated importance.