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Predaceous Diving Beetle (Cybister fimbriolatus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Predaceous Diving Beetle

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Predaceous Diving Beetle offspring are tigers in their the underwater world, but most sightings occur when the robust adults explore land.

Updated: 05/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Found in or near large ponds and lakes, the Predaceous Diving Beetle is dark green and hydrodynamic, suitable for a life mostly spent in the water. It may look like it only has two front legs, but its other 4 legs are underneath it, out of sight. The two back legs are flat like boards making them useful paddles that simultaneously propel the beetle forward in water. The front legs look like bent 'arms' and all legs have feathery hairs on them.

A Predaceous Diving Beetle feeds on other aquatic insects and creatures, including small tadpoles. Males use their paddle-like feet to secure the female for mating. Both genders fly very well outside of water and are attracted to lights at night. They are most active at night and can be seen moving from one water source to another (puddles, pools, ponds, flooded roads, etc.). Walking on pool furniture and patio sets is not unusual for the adventurous beetle.

Larvae hatch underwater and look somewhat like long, tubular naiads or centipedes with only 6 legs. They have what appear to be pincers at the mouth area which are likely used to catch and consume aquatic insects. They are ferocious predators and aggressive by nature. This reputation has earned them the nickname 'Water Tiger'.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Predaceous-Diving-Beetle

aquatic insects
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Dytiscidae
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          Genus: Cybister
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            Species: fimbriolatus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Cybister fimbriolatus
Other Name(s): Water Tiger
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 26mm to 34mm (1.02" to 1.33")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; yellow; black; green
Descriptors: arms; fins; water; smooth; feathery; flying; aggressive; long; tubular

Predaceous-Diving-Beetle Video(s)

Predaceous Diving Beetles swimming and floating.
Resting on underwater plants.

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 26mm (1.0in) and 34mm (1.3in)
Lo: 26mm
Md: 30mm
Hi: 34mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Predaceous Diving Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Predaceous Diving Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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