Gyrinidae (Whirligig Beetles)

Whirligig beetles are often a very obvious presence in still water bodies as they move rapidly, swimming in tight circles,  around the surface.  Adults mainly consume insects that have fallen onto the surface of the water.  They lay eggs on underwater plants.  The larvae that emerge have gills and so can remain underwater to prey on small organisms.  They pupate out of the water within mud cells.  These are important indicators of water cleanliness as they are not found in polluted waters.  There are four (Grove et al. 2021) listed species of Gyrinidae in Tasmania.  In the previous catalogue (Semmens et al. 1991) only a single species (Macrogyrus howitti ) had been recorded.

Aulongyrus strigosus

Genus Macrogyrus

IMG 8962  IMG 1557

Pending ID – Gyrinidae
#1. Late November 2013
In a freshwater pond


Grove S.J., Forster  L. G. ,Porch, N. (2021) An illustrated checklist of the insects of Tasmania. Part 1 – Coleoptera (beetles). The Royal Society of Tasmania. Hobart

Lawrence, JF & Slipinski A, 2013. Australian Beetles; Morphology, Classification and Keys, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

Semmens, TD; McQuillan PB and Hayhurst G 1992, Catalogue of the Insects of Tasmania, Department of Primary Industry Tasmania

Watts C and Hamon H (2010), Pictorial Guide to the Australian whirligig beetles.…/Guide_to_Gyrinidae-branded.pdf