Insect identification > Coleoptera > True Coleoptera > Whirligig beetles

Whirligig beetles

Family Gyrinidae (whirligig beetles). - These insects swim on the surface of quiet water, generally in groups, and go around and around in a "whirligig" Fort of fashion. They are usually bluish-black, oval in form, and the compound eyes are so divided that one part of each is directed upward and the other down­ward.

They feed on small insects which come within their reach. The larvae, living in the water, breathe by abdominal tracheal gills and are also carnivorous.

The group does not include many species, but their habit of swimming in companies and their peculiar "gyrating" over the surface attract attention, nearly everybody having noticed them on this account.