Peter Sutton
British Wildlife 29.2 December 2017

In search of the larger water beetles of Britain and Ireland

Beetles are often overlooked by naturalists in favour of ‘easier’ groups such as butterflies and dragonflies. Britain’s larger water beetle species, however, are attractive and relatively simple to identify, and searching for them will mean spending time in some of the most pristine and beautiful wetlands in Britain and Ireland. Peter Sutton describes his travels around our Isles in search of these beetles, in what proved to be a challenging, but highly rewarding quest to photograph all of the British species.

I have always been fascinated by water beetles and, since childhood, have spent many happy hours in pursuit of these remarkable aquatic insects. Early on, it was to admire the many aspects of these animals that made them so appealing, and I concur with Jonty Denton’s comment in his Water Bugs and Water Beetles of Surrey: ‘The pure streamlined form of a water beetle does more for me than any Ferrari.’

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