Evolution of the semi-aquatic bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Gerromorpha) with a re-interpretation of the fossil record

Pages 251-268
Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae | 2008/48/2

The fossil history of semi-aquatic bugs (Gerromorpha) is reviewed in light of the many important recent records and new developments in our under-standing of the phylogeny of the group. Based on the age of its sister group, the Panheteroptera, the Gerromorpha probably extends back into the Triassic, even though the oldest fossil forms assigned to the group are dubious. The recent discovery of Cretogerris albianus Perrichot, Nel & Neraudeau, 2005 from the Lower Cretaceous shows that all families were present in the Mesozoic, and phylogenetic and biogeographic evidence suggest that most – perhaps all – extant subfamilies were also present at that time. By comparison, the fossil record of the families Hydrometridae and Gerridae is far richer than that of any other family, which allows a more detailed interpretation of the phylogenetic relationships among extinct and extant taxa of these two groups.

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