Brychius hungerfordi
Hungerford's crawling water beetle
Image of Brychius hungerfordi

Photo by Roger M. Strand 

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Key Characteristics

The Hungerford's crawling water beetle is a small, yellowish brown beetle (3.8 - 4.3 mm long) with irregular dark markings and narrow, longitudinal, finely perforated stripes on the elytra (wing coverings). In addition, the sides of the pronotum (dorsal plate behind the head) are nearly parallel for the basal two-thirds and are widened laterally.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • US Status: LE
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G1


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Presque Isle12005
Distribution map for Brychius hungerfordi

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


The Hungerford's crawling water beetle inhabits relatively cool (15-25 degrees C), fast flowing alkaline streams with sand and gravel substrates, often occurring in reaches with an open to partially open canopy just below beaver dams or similar human-made structures. Adults prefer gravel and cobble riffles while larvae occupy areas with slower current and dense growth of microalgae, especially Chara.

Specific Habitat Needs

Riffle needed in Northern wet meadow, Rich conifer swamp, Floodplain forest, Northern shrub thicket

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Protect occupied stream reaches from hydrologic, physical, and chemical alterations. Do not remove beaver dams, and exercise caution when cleaning out upstream culverts or drains. Do not introduce brown trout into occupied streams, since the adult beetles, easily seen by the naked eye on riffles, are thought to be easy prey for fish.

Active Period

Active from third week of June to fourth week of August

Survey Methods

Surveyors use an aquatic D-frame net to vigorously sweep the water just above the bottom to create a rapid current to dislodge the beetles from their substrate. Also, set the D-frame net downstream and stamp around to dislodge the substrate. Dislodged materials will be caught in the net. Do this in several areas within a stream reach. Empty contents of the net into an enamel pan filled with stream water. Pick up rocks to search for the beetle or its larvae. Adults are collected from among plant roots under approximately 2 ft of water.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 23, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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