The larvae of these hemimetabolous insects (with incomplete metamorphosis) go through five stages (moults) and are similar to the adults, except that their wings are incomplete or absent.

They are diurnal or crepuscular.

Some species live in aquatic habitats (lakes, ponds, marsh, rivers), while others frequent terrestrial habitats, primarily forest edges and scrubland. Few species live on the foliage or the bark of forest trees.

Most of the terrestrial families are phytophagous (14 families) or predatory (six families). Only one family feeds on seeds (Lygaeidae), and another feeds on fungi that decompose rotten wood (Aradidae).


Here are typical representatives of some families in this order. At least one species associated with these families is described in the site´s fact sheets.

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