Species At Risk

Hungerford's Crawling Water Beetle

(Brychius hungerfordi)


Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle
Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle occurrences map


As an adult, Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle is a small yellowish-brown insect, about four millimetres long, with irregular dark stripes on its back.

These beetles have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Adult beetles may live for up to 18 months.

Action we are taking:


In Ontario, this beetle’s range is restricted to three rivers in Bruce County. It has also been found in five rivers in northern Michigan. These are the only places in the world where this beetle is found.


This beetle is found in small to medium-sized streams with cool, high quality, fast-flowing water, often immediately downstream from beaver dams, culverts and man-made barriers. As larvae, they may require a specific kind of algae (Dichotomosiphon) to eat.


Threats to this beetle are believed to include activities that harm its habitat, such as agricultural practices that degrade water quality, alterations to stream flow, and beaver control and dam removal. The beetle may also be preyed on by introduced fish such as brown trout.


The Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle and its habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

What You Can Do to Help Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.

Did you know?

A globally rare species, this beetle was first documented in Canada in 1986.

Did you know?

This beetle is likely a “glacial relict,” a species that survived from the ice age in an isolated habitat.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.