Gyrinus substriatus

Alternative names
Whirligig Beetle

There are a number of similar species and detailed examination is necessary for a safe id.

Identification difficulty

Found in pools and ponds.

When to see it

Best seen from March to November.

Life History

This whirligig beetle is active during the day, and is often found in large numbers, whirling around on the surface of the water; when disturbed they are able to dive to safety. They carry an air bubble around with them on the tip of the abdomen, which is periodically replenished, and enables them to stay submerged for long periods. During autumn, the adults fly at night in search of new ponds. In July and August the larvae undergo pupation on land, protected by a cocoon of plant matter and sand grains; the adults emerge 10 days later. Both the larvae and adults are predatory, taking prey such as mosquito larvae and other aquatic invertebrates.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were approximately 80 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map