Length: 3 mm and smaller in the family
These diminutive bugs are densely pubescent; the velvety hairs have a water-repellant quality. The bugs are able to walk on the water's surface, and on underwater plants.
Bugs in the family Hebridae somewhat resemble those in Veliidae, but the former group has apical claws, a prominent scutellum, and have a groove for the rostrum on the ventral surface of the head.
Most commonly Velvet Water Bugs are found on damp detritus on the shore of ponds or rivers, and on mats of floating plants.
The 1988 catalog of True Bugs of Canada and the United States lists 12 species of Hebrus, distributed across North America. The catalog lists three genera in the family; the other two are Merragata and the monotypic Lipogomphus (Henry and Froeschner, 1988).
Photo location: Holly River State Park, West Virginia.
Note that this is both the family page for Hebridae and the genus page for Hebrus
American Insects site