Common name:Whirligig beetles
Number of species:12
This family, with 12 British species in Britain, are most familiar as groups of small dark elliptical beetles swimming in circles on the open water of ponds and streams. Scarcer species live amongst emergent vegetation, rather than circling openly by day. All are carnivorous, feeding on animals caught in the surface film. Larvae breathe through gills, rather than from the surface, which may explain the group’s predilection for deeper water bodies.