Peltodytes sp.

Crawling Water Beetle

Peltodytes sp., Crawling Water Beetle photo






Family: Haliplidae

Subfamily: none defined in Haliplidae

Length: 3.5-4.0 mm


Species of Peltodytes are quite small, but they tend to be noticed nevertheless because of their seemingly incessant movement and their bright gold coloration.

The family's common name mentions "creeping," and Dillon and Dillon (1972) say the beetles "crawl leisurely and rather awkwardly along." Nevertheless, the individual in this photo swam very quickly indeed, seldom stopping during the twenty minutes it was having its picture made.

Visible in the photo above, at the rear of the beetle, is a bubble of air the beetle takes with it as it swims underwater. Air may be stored under the elytra, and also under the much-enlarged first segments (coxae) of the back legs.

Peltodytes investigates Mayfly nymph, image

Left: A Peltodytes investigates a Mayfly nymph.


Adults in this family may overwinter out of the water, or may continue to swim throughout the winter. J.R. Hickman in 1931 observed these beetles swimming up to a hole in the ice to renew their air bubble.

Members of the genus Peltodytes may be found in ponds, ditches, and streams (especially the calm backwater areas of streams). They don't require pristine water, and seem to flourish at the ponds at strip mine and gas well sites.

Note: This page is both the Peltodytes sp. page, and the family page for Haliplidae.

Insects of West Virginia