Can Beetles Swim? (Everything About It!)


Can Beetles Swim? (Everything About It!) by insect101.com

Yes, beetles can swim and they are rather quite good at it. Moreover, there are some species of beetles that spend their whole lives underwater. How do they breathe underwater you ask? well, some species of underwater beetles have developed a layer of breathable air on their outer shell.

Hair like structures on their back keeps the air intact for them to breathe. Some other aquatic beetles carry the oxygen they need with them down in the water in the forms of temporary bubbles, this is the reason they are also sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Scuba Divers”

A Video of beetles swimming

Can Beetles Drown In Water?

No, beetles usually don’t drown in water, in fact as we mentioned above there are whole species of beetles living their entire lives underwater with quite some ease.

Moreover, they are more than efficient swimmers and are easily able to find their food down under quite easily.

Fun Fact:

Beetles are the largest group of living organism on this globe. they have over a total of 350,000 species. To elaborate how many of them there are, one in every four animals on earth is a beetle

How Do Beetles Reproduce In Water?

Beetles reproduce the same way like any other insects. It starts off with the male and the female beetles coming in physical contact with each other and mating.

The sperm from the male goes on to fertilize the female. One interesting thing to note at this point is that male beetles aren’t considered the ideal fathers as, after the act of mating, they leave right away and they don’t aid in the growth of children whatsoever.

The female however goes on to produce hundreds of eggs

Can Beetles Fly?

Yes, but not all the species of beetles have the ability to fly, like some beetle species that have evolved over time to live in deserts have lost their ability to fly.

The beetles that can fly often have a single pair of wings. These are soft wings that have a hardened outer layer known as elytra.

The main purpose of the outer layer is the protection of the inner softer wings as those are what are actually used for the process of flying. Down below is a list of some type of beetles that can fly

A picture of a beetle showing its wings to better elaborate on " Do Beetles Swim?"
  • Flour Beetles
  • Carpet Beetles
  • Aquatic Beetles
  • Hide Beetles
  • Cigarette Beetles
  • Drugstore Beetles

These are softer wings that are covered by a hardened outer pair of wings, known as the elytra. The outer wings serve as protection for the softer wings used for flight.

Some common beetles that can fly are carpet beetles, flour beetles, drugstore beetles, cigarette beetles, and hide beetles.

How Do Beetles Give Birth?

Like all other insects, beetles give birth in the form of eggs after 19 days of staying pregnant. Moreover, female beetles lay hundreds of eggs together at the same time. And it takes another 4 to 19 days for the eggs to grow and hatch.

Do Beetles Glow In The Dark?

Yes, there are quite some few beetles that glow in the dark, one famous example of a beetle that glows in the dark is fireflies, some of you might be surprised hearing the word fireflies here but fireflies are nonetheless a type of beetles.

Beetles As Prey

Beetles themselves are harbivore, but there are quite a few other insects animlas that would love to snack on beetles. Some of them are as follows

  • Praying Mantises
  • Birds
  • Lizards
  • Spiders
  • Centipedes
  • Scorpions
  • Frogs
  • rats
  • bats
  • cats

Do Beetles Make Noise?

There are quite a few species of beetles that make sounds. An example of this is the deathwatch beetles that hit their heads against the walls of wood tunnels which ends up making a rather loud knocking sound. Other beetles stridulate which is a noise that they make by rubbing their legs and wings.

There are also some species of beetles like the darkling beetles that tap their bellies on the ground making different kinds of sound. Moreover, the June beetles are also famous for chirping whilst finding their mates. So, all in all, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that beetles are noisy insects without a doubt

Do Beetles Live In The Desert?

Yes, there are a few species of beetles that have evolved to live in the desert. An example of this is the darkling beetle that lives is found in the Namib Desert in Africa.

These beetles have evolved in such a way that they are able to extract water from the air and the humidity around them. So they just have to position themselves in a way from where a humid wind passes by and they will get their water supply for it with rather quite ease.

This is a phenomenon that has intrigued even scientists for quite some while who have been trying to how the structure, chemistry, and the behavior play their roles to get water for this insect.

“The Namib Desert has a remarkably high variety of Darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) and a handful of them actively exploit fog for water intake [5,6]. Some of these construct sand trenches or ridges to catch the fog, while Onymacris unguicularis and O. bicolor instead utilise their own body surface as a fog water collector. By adopting a head standing posture facing into the wind, the fog water collects on their elytra and runs down to their mouth, to be imbibed by the beetles.

This unique behaviour is termed fog-basking. The advantage of fog collection for water intake in the extremely arid desert is obvious, and becomes critical when rainfall is absent over prolonged periods of time.

Long term studies on the population density of Darkling beetles in the Namib Desert clearly shows that the fog collecting beetles are still present in great numbers during periods of low rain fall, whereas the large majority of Darkling beetles that lack this adaptation disappear or decline to less than 1% of their mean abundance.” (Norgaard and Dacke 2010:1-2)

If you want to know more about these kinds of beetles asknaature has a great article that you can give a look too, click “here“if you are interested.

Hopefully, this article was helpful in answering some of your beetles’ related questions. If you want to go through an article on what insects eat, we have a great article on that too, so do give it a look if you’re interested “What Do Insects Eat?

Recent Posts