Marine Insects

  • Monika Springer
Part of the Monographiae Biologicae book series (MOBI, volume 86)

Although insects are one of the most diverse groups of organisms on earth, relatively few species are found associated with marine habitats. The majority of these marine species live in intertidal or coastal habitats and most of them belong to the orders Hemiptera, Diptera, and Coleoptera. Little is known about the marine insects of Central America and no survey of marine insect species has been carried out for Costa Rica. Therefore, this part presents a short discussion on each insect order with marine species that are most likely to occur in the area. Nearly nothing is known for the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. For the Pacific coast a species list is presented that includes one marine species of Collembola, and eight species from four families from the order Hemiptera. This last one is also the only order with truly pelagic insects, the sea skaters Halobates (Gerridae), able to permanently colonize the open ocean.


Intertidal Zone Pacific Coast Marine Species Ground Beetle Marine Habitat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andersen NM, Polhemus JT (1976) Water-striders (Hemiptera: Gerridae, Veliidae, etc.). In: Cheng L (ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 187–224Google Scholar
  2. Axtell RC (1976) Coastal horse flies and deer flies (Diptera: Tabanidae). In: Cheng L (ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 415–445Google Scholar
  3. Barton DR, Smith SM (1984) Insects of extremely small and extremely large aquatic habitats. In: Resh VH, Rosenberg DM (eds) The Ecology of Aquatic Insects. Praeger Scientific, New York, pp 459–483Google Scholar
  4. Birch MC, Cheng L, Treherne JE (1979) Distribution and environmental synchronization of the marine insect Halobates robustus in the Galápagos Islands. Proc R Soc Lond, Ser B 206:33–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buxton PA (1926) The colonization of the sea by insects: with an account of the habits of Pontomyia, the only known submarine insect. Proc Zool Soc Lond 1926:808–814Google Scholar
  6. Cheng L (1976) Insects in marine environments. In: Cheng L (ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 1–4Google Scholar
  7. 1.
    Cheng L (1985) Biology of Halobates (Heteroptera: Gerridae). Ann Rev Entomol 30:111–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheng L (1989a) Factors limiting the distribution of Halobates species. In: Ryland JS, Tyler PA (eds) Reproduction Genetics and Distributions of Marine Organisms. Olsen & Olsen, Fredenborg, Denmark, pp 357–362Google Scholar
  9. Cheng L (1989b) Biogeography and phylogeny of the seaskater Halobates. Chinese J Ocean Limnol 7:233–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheng L (2003) Marine insects. In: Resh VH, Cardé RT (eds) Encyclopedia of Insects. Academic, St. Louis, MO, pp 679–682Google Scholar
  11. Cheng L, Frank JH (1993) Marine insects and their reproduction. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 31:479–506Google Scholar
  12. Cheng L, Schulenberger E (1980) Distribution and abundance of Halobates species (Insecta: Heteroptera) in the eastern tropical Pacific. Fish Bull 78:579–591Google Scholar
  13. Cheng L, Roussis V (1998) Sex attractant in the marine insect Trochopus plumbeus (Heteroptera: Veliidae): a preliminary report. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 170:283–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 2.
    Christiansen K, Bellinger P (1988) Marine littoral Collembola of North and Central America. Bull Mar Sci 42:215–245Google Scholar
  15. Doyen JT (1976) Marine beetles (Coleoptera: excluding Staphylinidae). In: Cheng L (ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 497–520Google Scholar
  16. Hashimoto H (1976) Non-biting midges of marine habitats (Diptera: Chironomidae). In: Cheng L(ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 377–414Google Scholar
  17. Herring JL (1961) The genus Halobates (Hemiptera: Gerridae) Pacif Insects 3:223–305Google Scholar
  18. Hinton HE (1976) Enabling mechanisms. Proc 15th Int Congr Entom, Washington, DC, pp 71–83Google Scholar
  19. Joosse ENG (1976) Littoral apterygotes (Collembola and Thysanura). In: Cheng L(ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 151–186Google Scholar
  20. Linley JR (1976) Biting midges of mangrove swamps and saltmarshes (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). In: Cheng L(ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 335–376Google Scholar
  21. Moore I, Legner EF (1976) Intertidal rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). In: Cheng L (ed) Marine insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 521–551Google Scholar
  22. Neumann D (1976) Adaptations of chironomids to intertidal environments. Ann Rev Entomol 21:387–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Norris KR (1991) General biology. In: CSIRO (ed) The Insects of Australia, 2nd ed, Vo l I. Melbourne University Press, Canberra, pp 68–108Google Scholar
  24. O'Meara GF (1976) Saltmarsh mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). In: Cheng L (ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 303–333Google Scholar
  25. Pruthi HS (1932) Colonization of the sea by insects. Nature 130:312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 3.
    Polhemus JT (1975) New estuarine and intertidal water-striders from Mexico and Costa Rica (Hemiptera: Gerridae: Mesoveliidae). Pan-Pac Entom 51:243–247Google Scholar
  27. 4.
    Polhemus JT, Cheng L (1976) A new Rheumatobates from Costa Rica (Hemiptera: Gerridae). Pan-Pac Entom 52:321–323Google Scholar
  28. 5.
    Polhemus JT, Hogue CL (1972) Two new Microvelia from crabholes in Costa Rica. (Hemiptera: Veliidae). Contr Sci 224:1–6Google Scholar
  29. 6.
    Polhemus JT, Manzano MR (1992) Marine Heteroptera of the eastern tropical Pacific (Gelastocoridae, Gerridae, Mesoveliidae, Saldidae, Veliidae). In: Quintero D, Aiello A (eds) Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica. Selected Studies. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  30. 7.
    Roth V, Brown W (1980) Arthropoda: Insecta (Insects). Chapter 22. In: Brusca RC (ed) Common Intertidal Invertebrates of the Gulf of California. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, pp 326–346Google Scholar
  31. Scudder GGE (1976) Water-boatmen of saline waters (Hemiptera: Corixidae). In: Cheng L(ed) Marine insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 263–289Google Scholar
  32. Simpson KW (1976) Shore flies and brine flies (Diptera: Ephydridae). In: Cheng L(ed) Marine Insects. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 465–495Google Scholar
  33. Soong K, Chen GF, Chao JR (1999) Life history studies of the flightless marine midge Pontomyia spp. (Diptera: Chironomidae).Zool Stud 38:466–473Google Scholar
  34. Usinger RL (1957) Marine insects. Geol Soc Am Mem 67:1177–1182Google Scholar
  35. Williams DD, Feltmate BW (1992) Aquatic Insects. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, 358 pGoogle Scholar
  36. Wirth WW (1969) The shore flies of the genus Canaceoides Cresson (Diptera: Canaceidae). Proc Calif Acad Sci 4th Ser 36:551–570Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Springer
    • 1
  1. 1.Escuela de BiologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica

Personalised recommendations