Water beetle

A water beetle is a generalized name for any beetle that is adapted to living in water at any point in its life cycle. Most water beetles can only live in fresh water, with a few marine species that live in the intertidal zone or littoral zone. There are approximately 2000 species of true water beetles native to lands throughout the world.[1]

Many water beetles carry an air bubble, called the elytra cavity, underneath their abdomens, which provides an air supply, and prevents water from getting into the spiracles.[2] Others have the surface of their exoskeleton modified to form a plastron, or "physical gill", which permits direct gas exchange with the water. Some families of water beetles have fringed hind legs adapted for swimming, but most do not. Most families of water beetles have larvae that are also aquatic; many have aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults.[3][4]

EB 1911 Water Beetles
Water Beetles (Dytiscidae). a, Beetle (Cybister sp.); b, head of beetle with feelers and gunts (Agabus); c, larva (Larva of Dyticus, Water Beetle); d, pupa (Pupa of Dyticus).


Water beetles can be either herbivores, predators, or scavengers. Herbivorous beetles eat only aquatic vegetation, such as algae or leaves. They might also suck juices out the stem of a plant nearby. Scavenger beetles will feed on decomposing organic material that has been deposited. The scavenged material can come from aquatic vegetation, feces, or other small organisms that have died.[5] The great diving beetle, a predator, feeds on things like worms, tadpoles, and even sometimes small fish.[6]


Families in which all species are aquatic in all life stages include:

Families in which the adults are not necessarily aquatic include:

See also


  1. ^ http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arthropods/insects/beetles/water_beetle/
  2. ^ http://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/water-beetle/
  3. ^ Peckarsky, Barbara Lynn (1990). Freshwater macroinvertebrates of northeastern North America. the University of Michigan: Comstock Pub. Associates. ISBN 0801420768.
  4. ^ McCafferty, W. Patrick (1983). Aquatic Entomology: The Fishermen's and Ecologists' Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives. Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN 9780867200171.
  5. ^ http://www.ecospark.ca/changingcurrents/beetle
  6. ^ http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/great-diving-beetle

Ancyronyx, commonly known as spider water beetles or spider riffle beetles, is a genus of aquatic riffle beetles from North America, South Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. They are small beetles with extremely long legs ending in strong claws. Both the adults and the larvae are found underwater in the shallow riffles of streams and rivers, clinging to rocks or submerged wood. They feed on algae and decaying wood tissue. The genus contains twenty-one species, eleven of which are endemic to the Philippines.

Biddle Street, Yatton

Biddle Street, Yatton (grid reference ST423648) is a 44.8 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near the village of Yatton in North Somerset, notified in 1994.

Management practices and the variation in the soils has resulted in the watercourses supporting a wide range of aquatic plant

communities. Where open water occurs plants such as Common Water-starwort (Callitriche stagnalis), European Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsusranae), Fan-leaved Water-crowfoot (Ranunculus circinatus). The calcareous influence of the

underlying Compton soils also encourages Whorled Water-milfoil (Myriophyllum verticillatum) and Stonewort (Chara sp). Also present are the nationally scarce Rootless Duckweed (Wolffia arrhiza) and Hairlike Pondweed (Potamogeton trichoides).A rich invertebrate fauna is also associated with the rhynes and ditches including aquatic beetles including populations of two

nationally rare species, Hydacticus transversalis and Britain's largest water beetle, the Great Silver Water Beetle (Hydrophilus piceus). A number of dragonflies and damselflies are also found in the watercourses including the nationally scarce Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum). Strong populations of the Common Freshwater Mussel occur as does the nationally rare Pea Mussel (Pisidium pseudosphaerium).

Chatsworth, Ontario

Chatsworth is a township in south-western Ontario, Canada, in Grey County, located at the headwaters of the Styx River, the Saugeen River, the Sauble River, the Bighead River, the Spey River, and the old Sydenham River.

The current township was formed in late year 2000 with the amalgamation of Holland Township, Sullivan Township, and the village of Chatsworth. The first white settlers arrived in this area in the early 19th century and a significant amount of settlement was underway in mid-to-late 1800s. The township is currently led by a municipal government containing a Mayor, a Deputy Mayor and three Council Members. The current government is Bob Pringle as Mayor; Scott Mackey as Deputy mayor; and Shawn Greig, Brian Gamble and Elizabeth Thompson as Councillors. The next municipal election is October 27, 2018 as part of the 2018 Ontario Municipal Elections.

Canadian suffragette and activist Nellie McClung was born in the town of Chatsworth.The Sullivan Township area has a large Amish population.


Dryopidae is a family of beetles, commonly named long-toed water beetles, in the superfamily Byrrhoidea. It was described by Gustaf Johan Billberg in 1820.

Dytiscus marginicollis

Dytiscus marginicollis, the giant green water beetle, is a species of predaceous diving beetle in the family Dytiscidae. It is found in North America.


The Haliplidae are a family of water beetles who swim using an alternating motion of the legs. They are therefore clumsy in water (compared e.g. with the Dytiscidae or Hydrophilidae), and prefer to get around by crawling. The family consists of about 200 species in 5 genera, distributed wherever there is freshwater habitat; it is the only extant member of superfamily Haliploidea. They are also known as crawling water beetles or haliplids.

Hungerford's crawling water beetle

Hungerford's crawling water beetle (Brychius hungerfordi) is a critically endangered member of the Haliplidae family of water beetles. The US Fish and Wildlife Service Draft Recovery Plan for the species published August 2004 estimates roughly 1000 individuals are present in the wild. In 2010, a five-year summary report by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service found the population to be essentially unchanged.The species was first discovered by Paul J. Spangler in 1954.

Hydrophilus piceus

Hydrophilus piceus is a species of beetles in the family Hydrophilidae, the water scavenger beetles. This very large aquatic beetle is found in the Palearctic and is known by the common name great silver water beetle.

Leith Hill SSSI

Leith Hill SSSI is a 337.9-hectare (835-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest south-east of Dorking in Surrey. The SSSI consists of four wooded areas surrounding Leith Hill.These woods support diverse breeding birds, including all three species of British woodpeckers. The invertebrate population is outstanding, with many nationally rare and uncommon species, such as the beetles Notolaemus unifasciatus, which is found on dead wood, Silvanus bidentatus, which feeds on fungus, and the water beetle Agabus melanarius. There are two nationally rare moths.

Lesser silver water beetle

The lesser silver water beetle (Hydrochara caraboides) is a species of water scavenger beetle (family Hydrophilidae).

Lockington Marshes

Lockington Marshes is an 11.3 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest north of Ratcliffe on Soar in Leicestershire.This site in the floodplains of the River Soar and River Trent has a periodically flooded meadow, pools and one of the largest areas of willow carr in the county. The invertebrate fauna includes nationally rare beetles and flies, and scarce species such as the water beetle Batenus livens and the weevil anthribus fasciatus.The site is private land with no public access.

Moorlinch SSSI

Moorlinch (grid reference ST390360) is a 226.0 hectare (558.4 acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest at Moorlinch in Somerset, notified in 1985.

Moorlinch is part of the extensive grazing marsh grasslands and ditch systems of the Somerset Levels and Moors. Lying in the Parrett Basin at the foot of the Polden Hills, the area drains by gravity into the King’s Sedgemoor Drain.

The water table is high for most of the year with frequent winter flooding from high ground and surface water remaining on many fields throughout the winter and early spring. Moorlinch contains a good proportion of botanically rich ditch systems. Regularly

maintained field ditches are often species-rich and diverse. Notable species include Lesser Water-plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides), Tubular Water-dropwort (Oenanthe fistulosa) and Hairlike Pondweed (Potamogeton trichoides). The channels and banksides support a rich fauna; rare species include the water beetle (Hydrophilus piceus) and the soldier fly (Odontomyia ornata). Large populations of dragonflies and damselflies occur, including the Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) and the Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum).


Noteridae is a family of water beetles closely related to the Dytiscidae, and formerly classified with them. They are mainly distinguished by the presence of a distinctive "noterid platform" underneath, in the form of a plate between the second and third pair of legs. The family consists of about 230 species in 14 genera, and is found worldwide, more commonly in the tropics. They are sometimes referred to as burrowing water beetles.

These beetles are relatively small, ranging from 1 to 5 mm, with smooth oval bodies ranging from light brown to a darker reddish brown. The head is short and somewhat covered by the prothorax.

Both adults and larvae are aquatic, and are commonly found around plants. They have a habit of burrowing through pond and marsh substrate, thus the common name, and are primarily carnivorous, with some scavenging observed.

Saugeen River

The Saugeen River is located in southern Ontario, Canada, The river begins in the Osprey Wetland Conservation Lands and flows generally north-west about 160 kilometres (99 mi) before exiting into Lake Huron. The river is navigable for some distance, and was once an important barge route. Today the river is best known for its fishing and as a canoe route.

The river's name comes from an Ojibwa language word Zaagiing, meaning outlet. Another source is more specific, indicating that "Saugeen" is the corrupted form of the Ojibwa word meaning the entrance or mouth of the river.

Summer Leys

Summer Leys is a local nature reserve at Wollaston in the Upper Nene Valley, in Northamptonshire, England. It is owned by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

Tealham and Tadham Moors

Tealham and Tadham Moors (grid reference ST420450) is a 917.6 hectare (2267.3 acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest south of Wedmore in Somerset, notified in 1985.

Land south of this site is included in Catcott, Edington and Chilton Moors SSSI.

Tealham and Tadham Moors form part of the extensive grazing marsh and ditch systems of the Somerset Levels and Moors. The water table is high throughout the greater part of the year with winter flooding occurring annually, by over-topping of the River Brue. 113 aquatic and bankside vascular plant species have been recorded from the field ditches, rhynes and deep arterial watercourses. A diverse invertebrate fauna is associated in particular with ditches that have a good submerged plant community. The water beetle fauna is exceptionally rich, with the nationally rare species Hydrophilus piceus and Hydrochara caraboides together with the rare soldier flies Stratiomys furcata and Odontomyia ornata. Good numbers of dragonflies and damselflies occur including the Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) and the Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum).

Tickenham, Nailsea and Kenn Moors SSSI

Tickenham, Nailsea and Kenn Moors SSSI (grid reference ST440700) is a 129.4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Tickenham, Nailsea and Kenn on the North Somerset Levels, notified in 1995.

The soils in the area include both clays of the Allerton and Wentloog Series and peat soils of the Sedgemoor and Godney Series, which are drained by a network of large rhynes and smaller field ditches, which support exceptionally rich plant and invertebrate fauna communities. Exceptional populations of Coleoptera occur with at least 12 nationally scarce species and two nationally rare species, including Britain’s largest water beetle the Great Silver Water Beetle (Hydrophilus piceus).

Woodston Ponds

Woodston Ponds is an 8.9 hectare Local Nature Reserve between the River Nene and the Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.The site was formerly settling ponds to remove washings from sugar beet. The east side has a lake with water birds such as grey herons, tufted ducks and pochards. In the west there is a reedbed which has pools and channels, with great crested newts and unusual species of water beetle.There is access by crossing a footbridge over the river from Viersen Platz and turning right along a footpath.

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