Monday, 2 February 2015

Day 93 - The Beauty of the mini-beasts part 1

Hey everyone,

Great Diving Beetle
(Dytiscus marginalis)
Well it's Day 93 and I thought I'd start up another little theme since I enjoyed my 12 days of nature so much. I've been scratching my head wondering what to do but I took inspiration from a panto I was in last week - Beauty and the Beast. I'm away this week on an outdoor residential trip with school, my first holiday away from home (gulp!) so I've done a few posts for while I'm away on The Beauty of the mini-beasts. I hope you enjoy them.

I've scheduled the posts and a few tweets but wont have access to t'internet while I'm away so sorry I wont be able to talk with you all this week. In case I haven't got the technology right Dad's on standby, he's all right with his new nickname by the way :-)

So what's first in my theme - well it's a Great Diving Beetle I found in my garden. Here's a few facts I found about these not so little guys:

  • They are a fairly common beetle found across most of the UK.
  • They are one of our largest beetles and are around 3cm in length.
  • They are pond predators and they eat anything from small invertebrates, through to tadpoles and even small fish which you can see in the video here.
  • They have to come to the surface to replenish their air supply, they don't have gills, but store air under their wing cases.
  • The wingcases are how you identify the sex, males are smooth and the females are ribbed.
  • I found the one in my photo on the road. It seems they fly at night looking for new territories and can mistake glass or roads for water. 
  • When they are threatened they release a nasty smelling liquid from their bottoms which puts predators off eating them.
  • Females lay eggs in a hole they cut in plants and the larvae hatch after a few weeks. They have big pincers and look a bit like scorpions. they can grow to 5cm before they pupate into the adults.
Well, they're quite a fascinating insect so if you want to find out more try these sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


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