<![CDATA[Kimberly Chadwick Photography - Nature Blog]]>Wed, 27 Jan 2016 01:03:02 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Water Scavenger Beetle (Larvae)]]>Sat, 14 Sep 2013 04:35:33 GMThttp://www.kchadwickphotography.com/nature-blog/water-scavenger-beetle-larvae
  Today while at my actual "day job" a fellow employee shows me a picture he drew (what I thought was a carrot) of this creature he observed in a large storm drain. This drain/basin is located next to the building we work in and has gotten clogged over the years therefore earning the name of "skeeter breeder" due to the water sitting.  He asked me what it was and I shrugged my shoulders and laughed with an intelligent grunting of "I don't know". I then asked for him to show me. Approaching the drain I expected to see dragonfly nymphs but was intrigued. They were like slugs SWIMMING and hunting at the surface! I asked my daughter whom was with me today to grab my camera! Took several shots hoping to be able to identify them this evening. It has been a while since I have found something to research and was pleasantly satisfied when I learned that they are the larvae of Water Scavengar Beetles.

*Water Scavengar Beetle*
Common Name: Water scavenger beetle 
Scientific Name: Varies
Order: Coleoptera

Description: Adults have short, clubbed antennae which are sometimes hidden beneath the head. Their mouthparts (maxillary palpi) are elongated and hair-like (filiform) and may be mistaken for antennae. Most species have a conspicuous keel or ridge between the legs which extends backward into a point. The hind legs have long hairs that aid in swimming. Their bodies are usually not as flattened as predaceous diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) with which they can be confused. They surface for air head first and trap air to breath under the wing covers (elytra) and "row" by alternating the hind legs, producing a wiggle from side to side as they swim. They range in size up to 1-1/2 inch (40 mm). Larvae may be up to 2-3/8 inches (60 mm) long. Their jaws (mandibles) are usually toothed. The abdomen often has a wrinkled appearance and often has long filaments extending from the sides (some predaceous diving beetles also have filaments). The tail filaments are usually short.

Life Cycle: Egg-laying (oviposition) sites vary, although females of a few species carry eggs on their bodies. Some species of males stridulate or chirp to locate mates. Pupation is generally terrestrial.

Habitat and Food Source(s): Mouthparts are for chewing. They are usually found in ponds, shallow lakes and along the shoreline of flowing water, although one subfamily is found in dung. Adults are general feeders or feed on decaying organic matter (omnivorous or detritus feeding) but a few are predaceous. Most larvae are predaceous, although some feed on plants. Adults may be found at lights.

Pest Status: Water scavenger beetles are not pests but the large species may be noticed.

Management: None, this is a beneficial insect.

Information copied from the Texas AgriLife Extension: https://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/bimg135.html