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Dytiscidae; Ditiscinae; Cybistrini; Cybister; C. tripunctatis Olivier, 1795. Thus far, I am reasonably, comfortable with its identification, but it may be Cybister tripunctatis orientalis Gschwendtner, 1931. The descriptions of species and subspecies are all so similar I have not been able to sort it out. Then, of course there is the question of distribution, not to mention that this may well be on the endangered list. The Japan Times website provides a good image and information regarding a similar beetle. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/0...
I came across this early in the morning on a wet patch in our garden and I was immediately concerned because I have some dogs which can be boisterous and could easily step on a beetle like this. So after one or two pictures, I scooped it up and placed it in a bucket of water to keep it safe until I could get ready to bring it to a watery spot in the farm. You can imagine my shock when I returned after 10 minutes and it was nowhere to be seen. I felt so guilty that I had not taken better care of this precious little creature. I could not believe my luck, early next morning when I was feeding my dogs. Right there in front of my eyes was this wonderful beetle swimming round and round in the dogs water dish. No mistakes this time, I quickly transferred it to a bucket of water and took it directly to the farm where I gently plopped him down into a pool of water (not far from a small river). Then he rewarded me with an impressive underwater swimming display.
This was the only specimen of this kind of beetle that I have ever seen and friends and family tell me that it was fairly common in this area 50 years ago, but no one seems to have spotted one recently. If anyone can provide a more definite I.D. I would be most grateful.