Diving Beetle

Photo(s): 

Diving Beetle

Onychohydrus scutellaris


Immediately after biting their prey the adults secrete digestive enzymes into their prey. Diving beetles store air in a bubble held beneath their hardened wings. They use this oxygen during their underwater dives so they can hunt food and find mates. When prey numbers get too low, the beetles fly to a new water body and settle there. Adults lay their eggs in the water where tiny predatory larvae hatch out. The larvae spend their entire larval stage in the water before digging into the muddy banks and pupating.


Details Description
Type
Invertebrate
Group
Insect - Beetle
Former Scientific Name
Homeodytes scutellaris
Identifying Characteristics

Streamlined body up to 34 mm in length, usually dark and glossy. Paddle-like hind legs with swimming hairs.

Distinctive Markings

Large, paddle-like hind legs with a dense line of swimming hairs.

Diet

Carnivore. Eats small aquatic animals including insects, crustaceans, worms, leeches, molluscs, tadpoles and possibly small fish.

Habitat

Lives in freshwater bodies such as dams and lakes.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Taxonomy
Phylum
Arthropoda
Class
Insecta
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Dytiscidae
Genus
Onychohydrus
Species
scutellaris
Found throughout Australia, including across Victoria.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.