Elmis aenea


A very small (2 mm) riffle beetle that is equipped with strong claws to enable it to grip in strong currents. It is a dark coloured species with very deeply ridged elytra.

Identification difficulty

It is a water beetle of running water, but cannot swim and lives amongst stones, moss and algae.

When to see it

Late summer and autumn are the peak time.

Life History

It does not need to surface for air as it breathes the trapped oxygen in submerged bubbles but it does leave the water at times and can fly.

UK Status

Widespread and common in Britain.

VC55 Status

Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 129 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