Fossil water striders in Cretaceous French amber (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha: Mesoveliidae and Veliidae)



Fossil gerromorphan bugs from the Cretaceous (Albian–Cenomanian boundary) amber of Charentes, SW France, are reviewed. A larva described by Perrichot et al. (2005) as incertae familiae within the Gerromorpha is now placed in the Mesoveliidae. Three new genera and species are also described and illustrated: Emilianovelia audax Solórzano Kraemer & Perrichot, gen. et sp.n., and Malenavelia videris Solórzano Kraemer & Perrichot, gen. et sp.n., which are placed in the Mesoveliidae: Mesoveliinae; and Arcantivelia petraudi Solórzano Kraemer & Perrichot, gen. et sp.n., which is the first Mesozoic member of the Veliinae. The relationships between these fossils and their palaeoecology are discussed. The new discoveries confirm the antiquity of the semi-aquatic gerromorphans, particularly the clade (Veliidae + Gerridae). The habitat is described as aquatic and likely marine-influenced, yet adaptation to a fully marine habitat in these gerromorphans remains difficult to establish.

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