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Dytiscidae facts for kids

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Sandracottus is one of 160 genera of Dytiscidae

The Dytiscidae (Greek dytikos ("able to dive") is a family of water beetles. They are called predaceous diving beetles. They are about 25 mm (one inch). The largest beetle, Dytiscus latissimus, can reach 45 mm long.

Most Dytiscidaes are dark brown, black-ish or dark olive in color with golden highlights in some subfamilies. The larvae are called "water tigers". The water tigers will eat tadpoles and glassworms. They will also eat anything small living in the water. There are about 4,000 species in over 160 genera of Dytiscidae.


The Cybister can be eaten by humans. In Mexico, C. explanatus are roasted and salted onto tacos. In Japan, C. japonicus is used as food. In Guangdong Province, China, several species are eaten. The great diving beetle (Dytiscus marginalis) are bred for human food. Dytiscidae have been eaten in Taiwan, Thailand, and New Guinea. Birds and other small mammals eat Dytiscidaes.


  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) (2004): Water for a Healthy Country - Family Dytiscidae. Version of 2004-JUL-02. Retrieved 2008-AUG-04
  • De Foliart, Gene R. (2002): Chapter 26 - Eastern Asia: China, Japan, and other countries . In: The Human Use of Insects as a Food Resource: A Bibliographic Account in Progress.
  • Jäch, Manfred A. (2003): Fried water beetles Cantonese style. American Entomologist 49(1): 34-37. PDF fulltext

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