Long-toed Water Beetles
This family is relatively small, with only 5 North American genera, including 13 species. The family is more diverse in the Oriental and Neotropical regions. Unlike most water beetles, the larvae of this family are terrestrial burrowers and only the adults are aquatic, usually found in riffles, although some less-common species can be lentic as well. They are shredding herbivores and scrapers. The long claws of the adults make them good clingers and climbers on woody debris and other substrates. Similar to the Elmidae, these adult beetles use a plastron (thin layer of air held against the spiracles) to obtain oxygen from the water and usually don’t need to surface for air. These adult beetles can have a fairly long life-span, with the life cycle taking up to two years in some cases.