water beetle

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water beetle

water beetle, name for aquatic beetles of several families. They should not be confused with water bugs, which are true bugs (order Hemiptera). The predaceous diving beetles (family Dytiscidae) are a large group, widespread in quiet streams and ponds. They are black, brown, or greenish, .08 to 1.57 in. (3–40 mm) long, with smooth oval bodies and hairy, oarlike hind legs. There is a cavity beneath the wings for holding an air supply, so the diving beetle can remain submerged for long periods; however, the insect often hangs head down from the surface, exposing the openings (spiracles) of the last two of its breathing tubes, located at the tip of the abdomen. Both the adults and the long, conspicuously segmented larvae prey on a variety of animals, including snails and fish much larger than themselves. Adults of most species are strong fliers, and many are attracted to lights at night. The water scavenger beetles (family Hydrophilidae), of similar appearance, are abundant in marshy places in warm parts of the world and feed on water plants and decaying matter. Their larvae are predaceous. The whirligig beetles (family Gyrinidae) are oval, shiny, blue-black to dark brown beetles, about 3/4 in. (19 mm) long. They are found in groups in sheltered places, spinning around on the surface of the water. They feed on small insects on the surface and seldom dive. There are several other groups of water beetles, all classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Coleoptera.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The members of this family are known as predaceous diving beetles and could be found in all type of fresh water habitats.
Predation of adult large diving beetles Dytiscus marginalis (Linnaeus, 1758), Dytiscus circumcinctus (Ahrens, 1811) and Cybister lateralimarginalis (De Geer, 1774) (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) on fish fry.
These include the Great Diving Beetle which eats a lot of tadpoles.
(10.) James HG: Immature stages of five diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae), notes on their habits and life history, and a key to aquatic beetles of vernal woodland pools in Southern Ontario.
A new species of predacious diving beetle, Heterosternuta phoebeae (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae), from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.
Some of these have wonderful names including minutest diving beetle, iron blue mayfly, distinguished jumper spider, wormwood moonshiner, fancy-legged fly and English assassin fly.
For instance, children learn that the scorpion fly can walk across a spiderweb without getting caught, and that the great diving beetle is big and strong enough to catch fish.
Big Waters Nature Reserve, on the outskirts of Newcastle, was shown to be rich in invertebrates, with a rare species of diving beetle and hornwort found.
The lesser silver diving beetle, known to survive only in Cheshire and Somerset, has been discovered in ponds alongside the Basford-Hough-Shavington Bypass, near Crewe.
The Great Diving Beetle, found in garden ponds, can draw blood if it bites, and earwigs can use the pincers at the end of their body to nip.