Diving Beetles Gobble Their Food
Diving beetles spread fear and dread in any waterhole during the summer. The streamlined, fast-swimming beetles are proper eating machines, which will consume almost anything – but their larvae are even worse. Adult diving beetles grow up to 4 cm long, but their larvae often measure up to 10 cm. The larvae are equipped with a pair of large, curved jaws, that they sink into anything they can get to – even prey larger than themselves. The meal is dissolved and sucked out via two channels, and once the larvae have grown fat, they crawl onto the shore to pupate. The next year, adults emerge to mate and lay new eggs.
Diving beetles descend from terrestrial ground beetles, but they still need to breathe. The larvae have a volume of air inside their bodies, which they replenish by the surface of the water, whereas the adults collect air under their wings, so they can remain under the water for a longer period of time. A total of 4,200 different diving beetle species exist, making them the largest family of aquatic beetles.
Diving beetle larvae try to take hold of everything that flows by.