Three-punctured Diving Beetle
The large Three-punctured Diving Beetle lives under the water by breathing air stored beneath its wing cases.
The Three-punctured Diving Beetle lives in still waters including ponds, lakes and river pools.
The Three-punctured Diving Beetle is found hroughout Australia (except the south coast and Tasmania). There are about 20 species of predacious diving beetles (family Dytiscidae) in the Sydney region.
Feeding and diet
Three-punctured Diving Beetles are voracious predators, feeding on other insects, tadpoles and even small fish. The larvae are just as fearsome and capture their prey with piercing, grooved jaws through which they inject liquefying digestive juices. The prey 'soup' is then sucked up through the grooved jaws. The adult beetles have a powerful defensive chemical that they release to stun nearby fish.
Other behaviours and adaptations
Adult Three-punctured Diving Beetles fly great distances at night searching for water. They are also attracted to streetlights.
Diving beetles are insects. They have four stages in their life cycle: egg - larva - pupa - adult.
Diving beetles have a streamlined shape, a pair of thin antennae and three pairs of legs. Their back legs have a thick fringe of swimming hairs.
Diving beetles live in ponds, lakes, billabongs and slow-running streams.
Diving beetles eat other invertebrates that live or fall into the water. Occasionally they also eat small tadpoles and fish. Adults tear larger prey into smaller pieces. Larvae pierce and pump digestive juices into their prey. They then suck out the liquefied remains.
Fish, frogs and water spiders like to eat diving beetles.
Adult diving beetles breathe by storing oxygen in a bubble underneath their wing cases.
Larvae have a siphon (like a snorkel) coming out the end of their body. They stick this siphon out of the water to get oxygen to breathe.
When diving beetles breed, the male fertilises the female's eggs internally. Female beetles often deposit their eggs into aquatic plants by making cuts in the stem.
Adult diving beetles often fly from one pond to another. They use light reflected from the water to find ponds. Sometimes they get confused, as light reflected off glass can look the same.