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Debbie Hadley

Friday Fact - Whirligig Beetle Eyes

By November 30, 2012

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If you've spent any time at all around freshwater ponds, lakes, or streams, you've surely encountered whirligig beetles. As their name suggests, these aquatic insects gyrate in endless circles on the water's surface. What you probably didn't notice, unless you took a very close look at one, is the whirligig's unusual eyes. Whirligig beetles have divided compound eyes (some say they have two pairs of compound eyes). One set remains above the water's surface, while the other set remains below. This gives the whirligig beetle excellent vision to spot predators or prey in the air or in the water.

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