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Beetles and Weevils: Coleoptera - Great Water Beetle (dytiscus Marginalis): Species Accounts

aquatic elytra tadpoles larvae

Physical characteristics: Adults measure up to 1.4 inches (35 millimeters) in length. The midsection and elytra have pale borders. The elytra of the male are smooth, while those of the female are grooved.


Geographic range: This species is found in Europe.


Biome: Lake and pond


Habitat: Great water beetles live in standing bodies of water with muddy bottoms.


Diet: They eat other aquatic insects, clams, snails, crustaceans, and even tadpoles and small fish.


Behavior and reproduction: Great water beetles breathe underwater by breaking the water surface with the tip of the abdomen and trapping an air bubble under the elytra. Females lay their eggs singly The great water beetle eats other aquatic insects, clams, snails, crustaceans, and even tadpoles and small fishes. (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey. Reproduced by permission.) on the stems of aquatic plants. The larvae molt three times in thirty-five to forty days. Mature larvae pupate in damp soil next to water. There is one generation produced each year.


Great water beetles and people: This species is one of the largest and most studied of all water beetles in Europe.


Conservation status: This species is not listed as endangered or threatened. ∎

Beetles and Weevils: Coleoptera - European Stag Beetle (lucanus Cervus): Species Accounts [next] [back] Beetles and Weevils: Coleoptera - Giraffe-necked Weevil (trachelophorus Giraffa): Species Accounts

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