Diving beetle larvae have large heads with impressive jaws.

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  Identification Key

Diving Beetle Larva  

Description
bullet Large head with impressive, hollow jaws
bullet Long thorax with 3 pairs of legs
bullet Some species have filamentous gills, others must go to surface to breathe air
bullet Size reaches up to 25 mm

Ecological Role
bullet Diving beetle larvae are voracious predators that eat a variety of other aquatic organisms, including tadpoles and small fish.
bullet Often preyed upon by larger fish.

Interesting Facts
bullet Predaceous diving beetle larvae are extremely aggressive and even cannibalistic.
bullet Because they sometimes eat small fish, they are also called "water tigers."
bullet When handled by people, they are known to bite.  Though painful, the bite is not medically serious.

 

This page was created by Stephen Cuff, Fall 2007