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Genus Overview
This widespread genus includes 18 North American species. Adults and larvae live mostly among rooted plants in lentic habitats, although some occur in fast-flowing streams. Adults are swimmers, climbers, and clingers that pierce and shred living plant tissue and prey on other insects.
Characteristics
POLLUTION TOLERANCE
Southeast: 8.5 and higher
Midwest: 7 and higher
Mid-Atlantic: 5 and higher
0 = least tolerant, 10 = most tolerant
FEEDING HABITS
Engulfer / Predator
Piercer / Herbivore
Shredder / Herbivore
MOVEMENT
Climber
Clinger
Swimmer
DISTRIBUTION
Widespread (east of the Rocky Mtns.)
HABITAT
Lentic-littoral
Diagnostic Characters
+ Expanded Character List
Order: Adults with hardened forewings (elytra) covering the hind wings. 
Family: Elytra concealing entire abdomen. Hind coxae (first segment of the last leg) expanded into a broad, flat, plates, ventrally covering the first 2 or 3 abdominal segments and most of hind femora. Adult beetles > 3 mm long. 
Genus: Pronotum rounded with distinct black blotch on each side of middle near posterior margin. Last segment of both maxillary and labial palps cone-shaped, as long as or longer than next to last segment. Elytra with fine sutural striae in at least apical half. Hind coxal plates large, covering all of abdomen ventrally except last abdominal sternite.