in the Zoological Museum,
One of the largest collections of Halobates and other marine water striders (Hemiptera, Gerromorpha)
is deposited at the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen (ZMUC).
Andersen & Weir, 1994a: 1 paratype, Queensland, 12°40'S,
Lydia Ck, 18.i.1993, watersweep, P. Zborowski.
(s.str.) acherontis J. Polhemus,
1982: 4 paratypes, N.T., Daly River about 70 miles above mouth, CL 906,
XII-11-1977, J. T. Polhemus.
(s.str.) calyptus Herring, 1961:
10 paratypes (pinned) + 2 tubes paratypes, Tubajon Bay, Dinigat I.,
Philipp., 17.vii.1951, st. 414, Galathea..
elephanta Andersen & Foster, 1992: Male HOLOTYPE, 2 paratypes,
Bombay, Elephanta Island, 13.ii.89, Coll. W. A. Foster.
(s.str.) fijiensis Herring,
1958: Male HOLOTYPE, female ALLOTYPE: Suva Harbour, Fiji Isl.,
12-14.xi.1928, st 3594, Dana Coll.
(s.str.) katherinae: 2
paratypes, Noumea Harbor, New Caledonia, Nov. 30 – Dec. 4 1928, Dana
(s.str.) murphyi J. Polhemus
& D. Polhemus, 1991: 2 paratypes, Papua new Guinea, Morobe Prov., Labu
Lakes, Markham Riv. Est., CL 1838, IX-20-83, J.T. & D.A. Polhemus.
(s.str.) salotae Herring, 1961:
Nukualofa, Tonga, III-8-52, Galathea (NB: Not cited by Herring,
(Hilliella) lannae Andersen
& Weir, 1994b: 2 paratypes: Aust., NT, Darwin, Frances Bay, CL 914,
XII-13-77, J. T. Polhemus; 1 paratypes: N.T., Inglis Is., 4.59S 136.48E,
29.i.88, H. Larson.
Boxes with unit-trays containing the collection of pinned specimens of Halobates
After the initial discovery and description of Halobates
by J. F. Eschscholtz in 1922, these oceanic insects were practically
ignored for several decades. On May 14th, 1845, the Royal Danish Academy
of Sciences and Letters received a communication from the king, Christian
the Eighth: "We have decided to send the corvette
"Galathea" to the East Indies, and in particular to the Nicobar
Islands over which we have sovereignty, to undertake scientific
investigations of the natural products of this group of islands and their
application for cultivation and trade. . .". This was the start of
the First “Galathea” Expedition which took the ship and its crew on a
circumnavigation of the globe during the years 1845-47. The voyage
included stopped at the Danish colonies Trankebar (India) and Nicobar
Islands, and at Singapore, Batavia [Jakarta], Manilla, Shanghai, the
Sandwich Islands [Hawaiian Islands], Tahiti, and several cities in South
America. The commanding officer of "Galathea" was Steen A.
Bille (who wrote a book on the expedition) and among the scientific staff
was the entomologist C. E. Kiellerup and zoologist J. Th. Reinhardt.
following material of Halobates
collected by the crew of "Galathea" is preserved in ZMUC (pinned
specimens): H. germanus (China
Sea), hayanus (Nicobar Is.), micans
(Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, South China Sea). Of these species, only H.
micans was already described (by Eschscholtz, 1822). Unfortunately,
the Halobates-material from the
First "Galathea" Expedition was not (as planned) subjected to a
scientific study immediately after it reached Denmark in 1847.
plate from Lundbeck's (1914) paper on Halobates eggs
The next siginificant addition to the ZMUC-collections
was made by Japetus Steenstrup (1813-1897), professor of Zoology at the
University of Copenhagen, who persuaded shipmasters of the Danish merchant
marine and the navy (in particular the captains Andréa and Hygom) to
collect marine animals while on their voyages to the West Indies, South
America, and the Far East. The following material of Halobates
is preserved in ZMUC (pinned specimens and some alcohol material):
(Java), germanus (Java, China
Sea), hayanus (“Surabaia”), micans
(Atlantic Ocean,West Indies, Zanzibar, Java Sea), ?princeps
(Penang, Malaysia), sericeus
(China Sea, S. Pacific Ocean). The record of H.
princeps cited by Herring (1961) is based on a single female and may
pertain to another species. Among this material are a number of objects
collected from the ocean surface (Sepia-shells,
bird feathers, pieces of cork, etc.) carrying Halobates-eggs. Steenstrup never managed to complete his planned
study on Halobates, but the
quite extensive material of Halobates-eggs
was studied by William Lundbeck and published (1914) in a book dedicated
to the memory of Japetus Steenstrup. In this work, a colour plate pictures
some of the egg-carrying objects gathered by Steenstrup (see above).
Danish marine biologists organised two major
expeditions during the 20th century, both producing substantial material
of Halobates. The research
vessel “Dana” cruised the Atlantic Ocean (1921-22) and later went on a
circumnavigation of the globe (1928-30). The extensive material of Halobates and other marine water striders (chiefly in alcohol) was
studied by the American entomologist Jon Herring and published in the
"Dana Reports" (Herring, 1958). This work describes a new
species, H. fijiensis, records
the coastal species H. hawaiiensis,
katherinae, and princeps, and updates the distribution of the oceanic species H.
germanus, micans, sericeus, and sobrinus.
The largest Danish marine biological expedition of the
century, the Second "Galathea" Expedition (1950-1952), also
collected a large material of Halobates
which was included in Herring's 1961-monograph. Included are paratypes of
the new coastal species H. calyptus
and salotae and extensive
material of the oceanic species H.
sericeus, and sobrinus
(records shown on maps by Herring, 1961).
from material aquired by these major espeditions, ZMUC have received
valuable material from various collectors: Mogens Andersen, Nils M.
Andersen, G. Høpner-Petersen, Th. Mortensen, Claus Nielsen, Jørgen
Nielsen, Torben Wolff (all staff-members at ZMUC), W.A. Foster (Zoological
Museum of the University, Cambridge), Finn Munch Petersen (Denmark), Dan
A. Polhemus (USNM, Washington, D.C.), John T. Polhemus (Denver, Colorado),
and C.M. Yang et al. (Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore).
of the Lanna Cheng Collection of Halobates, Zoological Museum,
By far the most significant recent additions to the ZMUC-collection of Halobates are the donations by Lanna Cheng (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California), the primary researcher on the biology and distribution of Halobates for the past decades. These donations (1990 and 2001) now constitute the "Lanna Cheng Collection" of ZMUC. An overview of this collection is presented below. It consists of specimens belonging to many species of Halobates and other marine water striders collected by L. Cheng throughout the World. The bulk of the collection, however, is thousands of samples of oceanic Halobates-species taken by various marine biological surveys and individual collectors during the past couple of decades. This material has been the basis of numerous publications by L. Cheng and co-workers (see the Bibliography of Halobates).
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Last update: 04 september 2002