Please refer also to the following link for details on this group:
Gelastocoridae = Link 1
The Gelastocoridae or toad bugs contain about 105 species. They resemble toads by their warty appearance and movements. These riparian insects occur at the margins of streams and ponds, where they are predators of other insects. The family has a worldwide distribution, with most species occurring in the tropics.
The following discussion is derived primarily from Cassis et al. (2002):
Toad bugs average 6.1–11 mm long and have an ovoid body with roughened surface, frequently with a warty appearance. The eyes are large, and protruding with ocelli usually being present. The short antennae have four segments. The labium is 4-segmented and does not extend beyond the forecoxae. The pronotum is large, transverse and wider than the head. The scutellum is triangular and large. The metathoracic scent glands are well developed in the Gelastocorinae, and absent in the Nerthrinae. The larvae lack dorsal abdominal gland openings. The forewings are mostly divided into clavus, corium and membrane. Menke (1979) reported wing polymorphism as common, with flight rare, particularly in Nerthra Say species. In some species the hemelytra are fused along the midline (Todd 1960). Parsons (1960) records a reduction in hind wings and wing musculature in Gelastocoris Kirkaldy. The mid and hind legs are slenderand the forefemora are incrassate. The foretarsi are diagnostic at the subfamily level, the Gelastocorinae having a fully articulated, 1-segmented tarsus, with the foretarsus and tibiae fused and a single claw on the pretarsus. The pretarsi of the forelegs are asymmetrical, with the inner claw reduced. The hind tarsus is 3-segmented. The abdominal sternites are asymmetrical, particularly in the males. The male genitalia are asymmetrical with the left paramere reduced or absent. The females lack a laciniated ovipositor (Parsons 1959, 1960; Slater 1982).
are found on the muddy banks of streams, ponds, lakes, swamps and roadside
ditches. Hungerford (1922) gave an account of the biology of the North
American species, Gelastocoris oculatus (Fabricius). Nerthra species
are found in a wide variety of habitats, including semiaquatic habitats, but
are sometimes found far from water. Todd (1955) reported Nerthra species
from leaf litter, under debris, in soil, and sometimes in decomposing plant
material, or cow dung. He reported the Neotropical species, Nerthra
nepaeformis (Fabricius), from banana plantations. Burrowing has been
given as a common behaviour of toad bugs, in both wet and dry conditions
(Bennett & Cook 1981). Both larvae and adults of the widespread species Nerthra
macrothorax (Montrouzier) are found in and under decaying vegetation of Pandanus
Parkinson and Erythrina indica Lam. (Todd 1960). The habitats of
other Australian species are poorly known. Carver et al. (1991) report
that most Australian species are found near water; a few species are
collected away from water, particularly in rainforest habitats, and N.
plauta Todd is found in association with spinifex. Toad bugs are
considered to be opportunistic predators and scavengers (Bennett & Cook
1981). Hungerford (1922) recorded them feeding on a variety of arthropods including
leafhoppers, various flies and a locust species.
Checklist of the Gelastocoridae.
= = = = = = = = = = =
Bennett, D.V. & Cook, E.F. 1981. The semiaquatic Hemiptera of Minnesota (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Technical Bulletin. Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota 332: 1-59
Carver, M., Gross, G.F. & Woodward, T.E. 1991. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, cicadas, aphids, scale insects, etc.) [with contributions by
Cassis, G., Evans, J.W., Fletcher, M.J., Hill, L., Lansbury, I., Malipatil, M.B., Monteith, G.B., Moulds, M.S., Polhemus, J.T., Slater, J.A., Štys, P., Taylor, K.L., Weir, T.A. & Williams, D.J.]. 2002. pp. 429-509 in CSIRO (ed.). The Insects of Australia. A textbook for
students and research workers. Melbourne : Melbourne University Press Vol. 1 xiii 542 pp.
Family Gelastocoridae in Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. URL consultato il 04-03-2009.
Hungerford, H.B. 1922. The life history of the toad bug. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 24: 145-171
Menke, A.S. 1979. Family Gelastocoridae. pp. 126-130 in Menke, A.S. (ed.). The Semiaquatic and Aquatic Hemiptera of California (Heteroptera: Hemiptera). Berkeley : University of California Press
Moreira da Costa Lima, A. 1938. XXII. Ordem Hemiptera in Insetos do Brasil. Tomo 2°, (in (PT)) Escola Nacional de Agronomia, pp. 312-314
Parsons, M.C. 1959. Skeleton and musculature of the head of Gelastocoris oculatus (Fabricius). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 122: 1-53
Parsons, M.C. 1960. Skeleton and musculature of the thorax of Gelastocoris oculatus (Fabricius). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 122: 299-357
Popov, Y.A. 1971. [Historical development of the hemipterous infraorder Nepomorpha.]. Trudy Paleontologicheskogo Instituta. Akademiya Nauk SSSR 129: 1-228 [In Russian]
Rieger, C. 1976. Skelett und Muskulatur des Kopfes und Prothorax von Ochterus marginatus Latreille. Beitrag zur Klärung der phylogenetischen der Ochteridae (Insecta, Heteroptera). Zoomorphology (Berlin) 83: 109-191
Slater, J.A. 1982. Hemiptera. pp. 417-447 in Parker, S.P. (ed.). Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms. New York : McGraw Hill Book Co
Štys, P. & Jansson, A. 1988. Check-list of recent family-group and genus-group names of Nepomorpha (Heteroptera) of the world. Acta Entomologica Fennica 50: 1-44
Todd, E.L. 1955. A taxonomic revision of the family Gelastocoridae (Hemiptera). Kansas University Science Bulletin 37: 277-475
Todd, E.L. 1959. The Gelastocoridae of Melanesia (Hemiptera). Results of the Archbold Expeditions. Nova Guinea ns 10: 61-94
Todd, E.L. 1960. The Gelastocoridae of Australia (Hemiptera). Pacific Insects 2: 171-194
Todd, E.L. 1961. A checklist of the Gelastocoridae (Hemiptera). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 17: 461-476