Rifle Beetle (Elmis aenea)

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Length 1/10 " (2.5mm)

A small plant eating Beetle that lives on the bottom of fast flowing streams , it can not swim , but walks around slowly on the stream bed . Oxygen is absorbed from the surrounding water and kept in a bubble under the wing case It is equipped with strong claws to enable it to grip in strong currents. It is a dark coloured species with very deeply ridged elytra.

Phenology Late summer and autumn are the peak time.

Life Cycle It does not need to surface for air as it breathes the trapped oxygen in submerged bubbles but it does leave the water at times and can fly.