Six-spotted dwarf swimmer

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Six-spotted dwarf swimmer
Six-spotted dwarf swimmer (Hydroporus palustris)

Six-spotted dwarf swimmer
( Hydroporus palustris )

Superclass : Six-footed (Hexapoda)
Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Beetle (Coleoptera)
Family : Swimming beetles (Dytiscidae)
Genre : Hydroporus
Type : Six-spotted dwarf swimmer
Scientific name
Hydroporus palustris
( Linnaeus , 1761)

The six-spotted or common dwarf swimmer ( Hydroporus palustris ) is a beetle from the family of swimming beetles (Dytiscidae).


The beetles are 3 to 3.2 millimeters long and have an elongated and oval body. The abdomen , pronotum and head merge smoothly. The head is red-brown and has a dark spot near the eyes. The pronotum is yellow on the sides, otherwise black and the dark brown wings are bordered yellow. The coloration is rather variable and can vary from almost yellow to almost black. The antennae are relatively long and thread-shaped. There are long bristles on the hind legs that are used as oars for locomotion.


The animals are found all over Europe , across Asia Minor and the Caucasus , east to Siberia . They are also found far to the north and at high altitudes. They are common and common. They live predominantly in stagnant waters, but are rarely found in flowing waters.

Way of life

The animals swim and dive very quickly, which is made possible by the streamlined body shape. They feed on small invertebrates. The prey is crushed with the jaw pincers and digested in the crop. Since the animals need air to breathe, they occasionally have to go to the surface of the water. To renew the air supply that is located under the wing covers, they then stretch the rear end of the body out of the water. The beetles also fly overland to seek out new habitats. They hibernate underwater as an imago .

The larva also catches small invertebrates in the water, into which they inject digestive juices. Then she sucks the prey out. After a while, the larva creates a pupa cradle outside of the water . The finished beetle hatches from the pupa .


  • Harde, Severa: Der Kosmos Käferführer, The Central European Beetles , Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-440-06959-1
  • Jiři Zahradnik, Irmgard Jung, Dieter Jung et al .: Käfer Central and Northwestern Europe , Parey Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-490-27118-1

Web links

Commons : Six-spotted Miniature Swimmer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files