Home / Predaceous Diving Beetles (Dytiscidae) / Great Diving Beetle (Dytiscus marginalis)

Great Diving Beetle (Dytiscus marginalis)

Great diving beetle of the diving beetle family is an aquatic species indigenous to Europe, mainly England, and northern Asia. These beetles mostly prefer slow running or still freshwater, particularly those with vegetation.

Great Diving Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Dytiscidae
  • Genus: Dytiscus
  • Scientific name: Dytiscus marginalis

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: Approximately 27 – 35 mm

Color: They have a brownish or blackish-green body with their abdomen, legs, and wing case bordered in yellow.

Other Characteristic Features: Sexual dimorphism is prominent in their physical features. The males have shiny male cases, while in the females, the elytra appear finely grooved. The legs of male great diving beetles (first two pairs) are equipped with many suction cups to help them establish a grip on females during mating and catch their prey. These beetles even have bigger jaws in comparison to their bodies.

Dytiscus marginalis

 Larva

The larvae have a pale brown body reaching a length of about 60 mm. Their large size and big jaws give the larvae a fearful look.

Great Diving Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The larvae mostly pupate on the damp soil near the water bodies they inhabit.

Great Diving Beetle Pupa

Egg

The female lays eggs in the leaves present underwater, with the incubation period being from 17 to 19 days.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespanApproximately 3 years
Duration of larval stageNot recorded
DistributionEurope (mostly England) and northern Asia
HabitatPonds billabongs, lakes, and other slow-moving water bodies
Common PredatorsFish, frogs, dragonflies
Seasons active fromApril – October
Diet of larvae and adultsAquatic insects and also fish
Great Diving Beetle Image

Did You Know

  • They are rightly called the great diving beetle due to the beetle and larvae’s large size.
  • These beetles are nocturnal fliers, often locating water spots with the moonlight’s reflection.
Great Diving Beetle Picture

Image Source: first-nature.com, warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, i.pinimg.com, lh3.googleusercontent.com, norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk, newforestnpa.gov

Great diving beetle of the diving beetle family is an aquatic species indigenous to Europe, mainly England, and northern Asia. These beetles mostly prefer slow running or still freshwater, particularly those with vegetation.

Great Diving Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: Approximately 27 – 35 mm

Color: They have a brownish or blackish-green body with their abdomen, legs, and wing case bordered in yellow.

Other Characteristic Features: Sexual dimorphism is prominent in their physical features. The males have shiny male cases, while in the females, the elytra appear finely grooved. The legs of male great diving beetles (first two pairs) are equipped with many suction cups to help them establish a grip on females during mating and catch their prey. These beetles even have bigger jaws in comparison to their bodies.

Dytiscus marginalis

 Larva

The larvae have a pale brown body reaching a length of about 60 mm. Their large size and big jaws give the larvae a fearful look.

Great Diving Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The larvae mostly pupate on the damp soil near the water bodies they inhabit.

Great Diving Beetle Pupa

Egg

The female lays eggs in the leaves present underwater, with the incubation period being from 17 to 19 days.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespanApproximately 3 years
Duration of larval stageNot recorded
DistributionEurope (mostly England) and northern Asia
HabitatPonds billabongs, lakes, and other slow-moving water bodies
Common PredatorsFish, frogs, dragonflies
Seasons active fromApril – October
Diet of larvae and adultsAquatic insects and also fish
Great Diving Beetle Image

Did You Know

  • They are rightly called the great diving beetle due to the beetle and larvae’s large size.
  • These beetles are nocturnal fliers, often locating water spots with the moonlight’s reflection.
Great Diving Beetle Picture

Image Source: first-nature.com, warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, i.pinimg.com, lh3.googleusercontent.com, norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk, newforestnpa.gov

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