When you think of natures most gifted swimmers you will likely picture some type of fish, or perhaps a tadpole, or some type of water-dwelling creature. As it happens, there are indeed certain types of insects that spend a majority, if not all of their time, within bodies of water. One such insect, the whirligig beetle, is not only a gifted swimmer, but some experts think that this beetle may be the most talented water-dwelling creature on the planet. This beetle can dazzle any spectator as it runs across the water while breaking out some impressive dance moves.
According to an expert, Holly Roger, the whirligig beetle has the most efficient swimming legs of any animal. This beetle is also able to see above and underneath the surface of water at the same time. If you were to move you hand near this beetle it would commence a dancing routing that researchers believe is a bizarre form of self-defense.
This beetle is a rare example of an aquatic insect, and it is a member of the coleoptera family, which is the same family in which all other beetles belong. They are just under a half an inch in length with a flat and hard football shaped body, and metallic or orange legs. So these are some pretty strange looking creatures to say the least. Their two front legs are much longer than their back legs, and their back legs are fringed in order to facilitate it rapid movements in water.
In order to breathe underwater these beetles do not use gills, instead these beetles carry an air bubble within their abdomen, which gives them air to breathe while underwater. When these bugs are on the surface of water they move wildly while and so rapidly that they are able to remain on the surface of water. When the beetle spots a predator, it dives underwater. And if that is not odd enough, these bugs also give off a chemical that keeps predators at bay and, for some reason, reportedly smells like apples.
Have you ever spotted an insect that appeared to dwell primarily within bodies of water?