|Life history||Some kinds of aquatic beetles live their entire life cycle in the water, other kinds spend their larval life stage in the water, and some other kinds spend their adult life stage in the water. Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, adult).|
|Diversity||There are about 23 families of aquatic beetles in North America.|
|Aquatic larvae: head is thick and hardened; no wing pads present, single tarsal claw (nail); some have long filaments at the end of the abdomen, some have visible structures along the sides of the abdomen, and most have hardened skin.
Aquatic adults: hard body, wings covered by hard shell-like cover and are not veined, the sides of the cover create a center line along the back.
|Habitat & Feeding||Different kinds of aquatic beetles can live in a variety of habitats: lakes, ponds, slow-moving water, fast-flowing streams, marshes, and marine or brackish water. Aquatic beetle larvae and adults may be: scrapers (eat algae off rocks), collector-gatherers (eat fine organic material), collector-filterers (eat fine organic material collected from the flowing water), or predators.|
|Water quality indicator status||Some kinds of aquatic beetles (larvae and adults) need specific environmental conditions. They also have a range of sensitivity to pollution and/or environmental stress caused by human activities.|
Adult Elmidae beetle.
Larvae Elmidae beetle.