Hydrophilidae

Water scavenger beetles are 5-40 mm long, oval, and somewhat convex beetles that can be recognized by their clubbed antennae and long maxillary palps. Most species are aquatic. The aquatic species are black, and the metasternum is prolonged into a spine. These beetles are common in ponds and slow-moving streams. Adults are generally scavengers, butwill attack live insects and other aquatic animals, including small fish; the larvae are predaceous on other insects. Several species are known to occur in outdoor swimming pools.

Giant water scavenger beetle, Hydrophilus triangularis (= Hydrous) Adults are 34-37 mm long, and with a prominent keel or metasternal spine on the middle of the venter. Eggs are enclosed in a silken case that is about 22 mm wide and 24 mm long, and has a horn-like mast; this case floats on the surface of the water or is attached to a floating leaf or other object. Larvae are predaceous on other insects and small animals. This species occurs generally throughout the USA. The adults fly to lights at night. Adults of a related species, Tropis-ternus californicus, are sometimes found in outdoor swimming pools, and may bite people.

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