There are five water-beetle families in the Adephaga, all of which spend the egg, larval and adult stages in water but most pupate on land. This page deals with the three smaller families:
- Gyrinidae (whirligig beetles: 12 species in 2 genera),
- Noteridae (sometimes called burrowing water beetles: 2 British species of Noterus), and
- Paelobiidae (the Screech Beetle Hygrobia hermanni is the only British representative).
The other two adephagan water-beetle families are the Haliplidae and Dytiscidae.
All three families are covered by the excellent RES Handbook by Garth Foster and Laurie Friday which has superseded Laurie Friday’s (1988) AIDGAP keys as the standard identification guide to these families.