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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Factors Limiting the Distribution of Halobates Species


The open ocean is almost devoid of insects, except for members of the genus Halobates, first described in 1822.  The Challenger expedition produced the first review on the genus but the next major review was not published until 1961.  Until the late 1970s marine biologists paid very little attention to these unique insects.  We now recognize 45 species in the genus, five being pelagic, the rest distributed in tropical near-shore habitats, often endemic to island groups.  Since many remote tropical islands have rarely or neer been visited by marine entomologists, it is likely that new species remain to be discovered.

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