|Dytiscus latissimus male and female, at National Museum (Prague)|
One of the largest representatives of the predaceous diving beetles of the genus Dytiscus, D. latissimus can reach a length around 38–44 mm (1.5–1.7 in). This beetle is similar in structure to the better-known and widespread D. marginalis, but it is clearly larger and especially wider. The species is usually easy to recognize by the extensions on both sides of the shield. The elytra and the pronotum are dark brown with yellow sides. The head is black, while the legs are yellow. The male's wing cases are shiny, while those of the female are finely grooved. This voracious predator hunts a wide variety of prey, including other insects, tadpoles, and small fish. Before they dive, they collect air bubbles in their wing cases which go through the spiracles.
This species can be found in northern and Central European countries (particularly in Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine). The species is listed on Annex II and Annex IV of the European Union Habitats Directive; the latter gives it strict protection within the EU member countries.
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- Fauna europaea
- Anders N. Nilsson, Mogens Holmen - The aquatic Adephaga (Coleoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark, vol. 2
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