Whirligig Beetle
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: June 24,  2007
      Photo 1

Whirligig Beetle

Common Name:  Whirligig Beetle, Waltzing Beetle or Scuttle Bug

Latin Name:  Gyrinus sp.
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length: 3.4 - 7.5 mm  

Range:  Alberta

Habitat: Streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.

Time of year seen:  Summer

Diet: Scavengers of dead and dying insects

Other: Worldwide there are 700 species of  Whirligig Beetles, of these 56 species are recognized in Canada and the mainland United States.  Adult Whirligig Beetles are found in groups on the surface of various water bodies whirling and gliding about.  The Whirligig Beetle has two pairs of compound eyes on its head, one above for vision in air and the second below for vision in water.  The adult beetles can also dive below the surface if threatened or searching for food.  As an additional deterrent to predators adult beetles can secrete a smelly liquid.  They fly well which allows them to move from one body of water to another with minimal difficulty. (White, 1983 and Arnett et al, 2001)      


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