The sea-skater Halobates (Heteroptera: Gerridae) - probable cause for extinction in the Mediterranean and potential for re-colonisation following climate change

Citation:
Cheng, LN, Damgaard J, Garrouste R.  2012.  The sea-skater Halobates (Heteroptera: Gerridae) - probable cause for extinction in the Mediterranean and potential for re-colonisation following climate change. Aquatic Insects. 34:45-55.

Keywords:

biology, bugs, diversity, evolution, gerridae, global, Halobates, hemiptera-heteroptera, marine insect, mediterranean sea, morphology, phylogeny, sea-skater, taxonomy, warming, water

Abstract:

Sea-skaters in the genus Halobates Eschscholtz 1822 include some of the most specialised water striders and are found in tropical and subtropical seas around the world. Even though species of Halobates occur in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea, no extant sea-skater has been reported from the Mediterranean Sea. A fossil, Halobates ruffoi Andersen et al., 1994, described from Middle-Upper Eocene (45 Ma) Italy indicates that sea skaters were present in this part of the world in the past. Other geological evidence points to dramatic changes in the Mediterranean Sea during the Tertiary and Quaternary that may have led to their later extinction. In this paper we review briefly the distribution, systematics, evolution and ecology of Halobates, and discuss the potential for the Mediterranean to be recolonised following expected environmental changes due to global warming.

Notes:

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DOI:

10.1080/01650424.2012.643024