Water treaders (beetles)

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Water treaders
Water treaders

Water treaders

Trunk : Arthropod (arthropoda)
Superclass : Six-footed (Hexapoda)
Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Beetle (Coleoptera)
Subordination : Adephaga
Family : Water treaders
Scientific name
Aubé , 1836

The water treaders (Haliplidae) represent a family within the order of the beetles (Coleoptera).


The members of this family are small, two to five millimeters long, broad fusiform water beetles , to red-brown color with black spots, with simple thread-like, eleven-membered yellow in sensors and thin gear legs, the rear pair of rails ( tibia ) and Tarsus is busy with swimming bristles . Their locomotion in the water consists in paddling movement (name) of the legs, which are not transformed into typical swimming legs.

Way of life

They are good fliers and so colonize newly established garden ponds, and from time to time they accidentally fall onto glass surfaces of greenhouses. Treaders of water breathe oxygen from the air, which they renew with the end of the abdomen on the surface of the water and store it under the wing covers and the mighty plate-shaped hind hips.

They can be found in slowly flowing or stagnant waters, where they graze the underwater vegetation more crawling than swimming as herbivores (algae), or also eat small crabs, worms and mosquito eggs. The eggs are laid on aquatic plants.

Their larvae suck on algae with highly specialized mandibles ( sucking mandibles ) and absorb the oxygen dissolved in the water through the body surface.

As they grow up, they pupate in a cave in the ground.


Around 200 species have been described worldwide , 21 species occur in Central Europe and 20 species in Germany.

The following list gives an overview of the species found in Europe.

Family Haliplidae


Individual evidence

  1. Haliplidae. Fauna Europaea, Version 1.3, April 19, 2007 , accessed on July 25, 2007 .


  • Jiří Zahradník : Beetles of Central and Northwestern Europe. An identification book for biologists and nature lovers. Parey, Hamburg et al. 1985, ISBN 3-490-27118-1 .
  • Edmund Reitter : Fauna Germanica. The beetles of the German Empire (= writings of the German Teachers' Association for Natural History. Vol. 22, ZDB -ID 520631-5 ). Volume 1. KG Lutz, Stuttgart 1908, p. 201 .
  • Edmund Reitter : Fauna Germanica. The beetles of the German Reich (= digital library . 134). Neusatz and facsimile of the 5-volume edition Stuttgart 1908 to 1916. Directmedia Publishing, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-89853-534-7 .

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