Print This Page

 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Hemiptera (bugs) | Ochteridae


Major Group: Insecta

Descriptive Features:

  • body small, ovoid, moderately dorsoventrally flattened, typically darkish in colour with pale markings and a soft velvety dorsum
  • head declivent and lacks cephalic trichobothria
  • eyes large and reniform, occupy much of the dorsal aspect of the head
  • 2 ocelli present
  • antennae 4-segmented, visible from above, with segments 1 and 2 short, and the ultimate and penultimate segments more slender
  • rostrum slender, 4-segmented, usually reaches beyond the metacoxae
  • pronotum subtrapezoidal, with lateral margins explanate and posterior margin emarginate
  • forewing is differentiated into a corium, clavus, and a membrane with large cells
  • metathoracic scent glands present
  • nymphs lack dorsal abdominal glands
  • legs slender, adapted for running
  • fore and mid tarsi 2-segmented, hind tarsi 3-segmented
  • Total length:  3.4 mm up to 9.8 mm
  • Taxonomic Checklist: Genera

    Distribution: Australia wide

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 2

    Functional Feeding Group: predators

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Ochteridae species are semi-aquatic bugs that occur in the littoral areas of quiet waters, especially mudflats and sandbars, in association with riparian vegetation. Ochterid bugs are particularly vulnerable to habitat disturbance.
    Feeding ecology: Ochterid bugs are predators, feeding mostly on fly larvae (Diptera), springtails (Collembola) and aphids. 
    Habit: Commonly known as ‘velvet shore bugs’, they are cryptically coloured, run quickly over sunlit open ground and jump or fly short distances. The nymphs of some species are slow moving and so camouflage themselves by scooping sand onto their dorsum using a small comb on the anterior portion of the head, just over the labrum, and positioning it using the fore- and hindlegs.
    Life history: The biology of Megochterus species is unknown. Ochterus eggs are suboval in cross-section. The female lays her eggs singly amongst debris and on sand grains. At the last moult, Ochterus nymphs build small cells of sand in which they stay for two days before and after moulting.
    Information Sources: Andersen & Weir 2004, Cassis & Gross 1995, Lansbury & Lake 2002
     More ›››  key to genera