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


Major Group: Insecta

Descriptive Features:

  • body ovoid to elongate, cryptically coloured, most often dark, with various lighter markings, particularly on the hemelytra
  • head declivent, short, lacks a collar-like vertex, with 3 pairs of trichobothria
  • eyes very large, reniform, not subpendunculate
  • ocelli usually present and flattened
  • antennae long, 4-segmented
  • rostrum 4-segmented, segment 1 very short and not apparent
  • pronotum subtrapezoidal
  • hemelytra with a distinctive membrane and 4 - 5 parallel sided cells
  • wing polymorphism prevalent
  • metathoracic scent gland with a median reservoir and a median osteole opening on the metasternum
  • legs adapted for jumping and running, relatively long
  • femora narrowly fusiform, lack long spines
  • tibiae linear, strongly spinose
  • tarsi 3-segmented
  • Total length: (m) 3.2 mm (f) 3.5 mm

    Saldula sp.

    Taxonomic Checklist: Genera species
    Saldula brevicornis Rimes
    Saldula coorongensis Rimes
    Saldula cygni Kirkaldy
    Saldula nicholsoni Hale
    Saldula psammobia Rimes
    Saldula reuteriella Kirkaldy
    Pentacora grossi Cobben (riparian)
    Pentacora leucographa Rimes (riparian)
    Pentacora salina Bergroth (riparian)

    Distribution: Australia wide

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 1

    Functional Feeding Group: predators, scavengers


    farm dam, Tas

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Commonly known as ‘shore bugs’, Saldidae species are semi-aquatic and occur in littoral areas of lentic waters such as farm dams, aquaculture ponds and lagoons, as well as mud flats, salt marshes, rocks in streams, the base of waterfalls, sandbars and intertidal flats. Bare ground is their favoured habitat.
    Feeding ecology: Shore bugs are either predaceous or saprophagous (feeding on dead or decaying animal matter). All nymphal instars feed on young or disabled invertebrates, including their own species, found near the surface of the riparian sediments which they continually probe with their rostra in search of food.
    Habit: The dorsum of shore bugs has a mottled dark and light colouring giving them camouflage on the bare ground. They are very agile and capable of flight when disturbed.
    Life history: Females lay eggs amongst moss, in plant tissues or at the bases of grass blades. The egg phase lasts for five days. The first nymphal instar moults at three days, the second instar after three days, the third, fourth and fifth instars moult after four days each. There is no post-natal moult.


    Information Sources: Cassis & Gross 1995, Carver et al 1991, Lansbury & Lake 2002, Ingram et al 1997
    Key to Genera: none
    Key to Species: none