Whirligig Beetle

Gyrinus substriatus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Beetles
  4. Whirligig Beetle


The Whirligig Beetle is one of a group of 12 very similar species. It can be found on almost any body of water, from ponds and lakes to canals, ditches and slow-flowing rivers. Whirligig Beetles live on the surface of the water, often in large groups, gyrating as they search for prey. They hunt small invertebrates that fall onto the water's surface or dive underwater to catch other animals. The back two pairs of legs are modified into short, flat paddles.

How to identify

Whirligig Beetles are shiny black and oval in shape, and their circling behaviour is unmistakeable.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: encourage all kinds of insects into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. In turn, they'll provide vital food for other creatures such as frogs and toads. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Whirligig Beetle
Latin name
Gyrinus substriatus
Length: 5-7mm
Conservation status