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The Great Diving Beetle Andy

The Great Diving Beetle (Dytiscus Marginalis)

Great diving beetle
When pond dipping as a young boy at a local quarry my father told me never handle one of these giant beetles with your bare hands as they can give you quite a nip, he told me one bit through his finger when he was young. Not surprising as it is a fierce carnivores predator a large beetle with powerful jaws capable of eating small fish, young frogs, newts, tadpoles and other pond life.

The adult beetle has long folding wings so they can easily fly which is usually at night to colonies in other freshwater habitats, can also be found in garden ponds. Common in the UK.

larvae
It was the larvae that I did not like the look of as a kid, also ferocious with large powerful sharp sickle-shaped hollow jaws to capture its prey it would then inject digestive enzymes to help suck the juices from its prey.  The larvae wait for there prey with there tails extended vertically upwards, they also breathe by pushing their tails through the water surface.