Over the course of the summer of 2011, we conducted wetland surveys of various sites around the preserve that included dip-netting for aquatic macroinvertebrates. Now that winter has arrived, we’ve been spending our days completing various indoors tasks including identifying those invertebrates. While staring through our dissecting microscope we came across a very cool beetle called a Predaceous Diving Beetle. There are many species in this group, some growing as large as a baby turtle! But what I find most interesting about them though is their feet, especially those of the males. Mating underwater is a tricky buisness, especially when females have such slippery carapaces. But, the males have figured it out! They have suction cup-like appendages on their front feet that help them to hold on to the females while the deed is done. We got a great close-up view of these suction cup-feet that we thought we’d share with all of you!
Photo: The modified foot of a male Predaceous Diving Beetle used to hold on to females during mating
~ Amanda Dillon, Field Ecologist and Environmental Educator