Marsh Beetle

Contacyphon padi


Over all length 2 to 2.5mm. A tiny, very dark and variable beetle. Blackish, but normally with some browner patches towards the rear, but it can also be mainly brown. The elytra are covered in fine hairs.


Normally found in water-side margins in emergent plants but overwinters in leaf-litter. The larvae are aquatic and feed by filtering diatoms and algae from the water.

Status and distribution

Common and widespread in Britain. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

March to November.