Familia Omaniidae Cobben, 1970

Family OMANIIDAE Cobben, 1970 ‑ intertidal dwarf bugs

Lindskog, P.

This small family includes 2 genera with 5 species, according to the currently more generally accepted suprageneric classification (Cobben 1970; Schuh & al., 1987). The species inhabit tropical and paratropical intertidal zones of rocky and coral reefs at islands and continental coasts within the Indo‑Pacific Region (Red Sea to western Pacific). These minute and flightless, saltatorial bugs require hard substrates (volcanic rocks, granite, coral rocks and pinnacles, concrete structures) with fine pores and crevices where they take refuge and undergo submergence at high tides. They may also live interstitially within coarse gravel and rubbles. At low tide they run actively on moist exposed rocks or nearby patches of sand. Like the Saldidae, they evidently feed upon small invertebrate preys, detected, for example, by probing algal growths on rock surfaces with their beak. The insufficiently known, New World taxon, Saldolepta kistnerorum Schuh & Polhemus (Ecuador; reportedly associated with termite nests), and assigned to the leptopodid subfamily Leptosaldinae (Schuh & J.T. Polhemus, 1980), has recently been transferred to the Omaniidae (Popov, 1985, 1989), forming the sister group of the present intertidal group (Omaniinae).

World catalogue: Schuh & al., 1987. Palaearctic catalogue: Lindskog, 1995d. Monograph: Cobben, 1970. Biology: Kellen, 1960; J.T. Polhemus, 1976; Woodward, 1958.