Familia Gelastocoridae Kirkaldy, 1897

Family GELASTOCORIDAE Kirkaldy, 1897 - toad bugs

J.T. Polhemus

The family contains 3 genera and about 103 species, distributed worldwide, but much more prevalent in the tropics. Only one genus occurs in the Old World. All species are predaceous on arthropods as far as known. Some species are found on open sandy shores, but most Old World species are cryptic, living in litter or under stones, often far away from water. They overwinter as adults, and eggs are laid in hollows under stones near water. A few species are wing-dimorphic; the flightless forms are submacropterous with reduced hind wings.

World catalogue: Todd, 1961a. World overview: Menke, 1979. Palaearctic catalogue: J.T. Polhemus, 1995d. Monograph: Todd, 1955. Biology: Kevan, 1942; Melin, 1931; J.T. Polhemus & Lindskog, 1994.