Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle
Scientific Name: Sanfilippodytes bertae
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: Alberta
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2009
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: Despite extensive searches, this Canadian endemic species is known from only two locations in southern Alberta, one of which has been destroyed. It is limited to springs and seepage areas along steep cliff edges or river bends. Its habitat is declining due to trampling by livestock and lowering of the water table due to withdrawals for irrigation.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in November 2009.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2012-06-20
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle (Sanfilippodytes bertae), Roughley and Larson 2000, Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) is described from the springs and seepages in the arid grasslands of southern Alberta. There are no known subspecies or forms. The adult appearance is typical of the genus except in elytral markings. Adult specimens are less than 3 mm in length, rather broadly oval in shape (length:width = 1.84 to 1.94). The head and pronotum are dark brown and the elytra are yellowish brown without yellowish spots or markings. (Updated 2017/05/30)
Distribution and Population
The historical distribution of Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle includes 2 and possibly 3 localities: 1) the northwest bank of the Oldman River immediately upstream of the Highway 2 crossing west of Fort MacLeod, Alberta; 2) Fort MacLeod itself; and 3) the newly discovered locality near Head–Smashed–In Buffalo Jump. Localities 1 and 2 may represent the same locality and therefore the same population; however, this remains unclear. The only record since 1984 and the only extant population is location 3. (Updated 2017/05/30)
The habitat of Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle is limited to springs and seepage areas in the watershed region of the Oldman River in southern Alberta. With respect to localities 1 and 2, a key element of the spring and seepage habitat was that it flowed out of the river banks at about the level of the high water (vernal flood) mark. Field surveys of springs and seeps in the region surrounding the first sampling locales recovered one specimen from the output point source of a spring near Head–Smashed–In Buffalo Jump. The habitat at this spring was characterized by a faint trickle of water exiting a crevice approximately half–way down a rocky cliff. The cliff dropped below the normal landscape of smooth hills with high winds and low vegetation by approximately 5 m. The spring exited the cliff wall approximately half way down the cliff face. The crevice where the spring exited the rock contained wet mosses and algae. Small undisturbed remnants of the above–described spring and seep habitat are very scarce in southern Alberta and many have been destroyed by cattle. (Updated 2017/05/30)
The life history characteristics of Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle remain a mystery. All predaceous water beetle larvae and adults are predaceous, principally eating invertebrates, probably enchytraeid worms and aquatic larvae of flies (Diptera). There is no evidence to suggest that the life cycle is anything but annual and likely involves vernal breeding and oviposition with larval development during the summer, followed by a brief terrestrial pupation. The over–wintering stage is the adult. Dispersal is probably minimal (despite presence of fully formed flight wings). (Updated 2017/05/30)
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle appears to require a very specific habitat within springs and seepages in an undisturbed area with mosses over fine particulate soil (necessary for pupation) and the appropriate fine–grained substrate of sand and other fine particulates. The most serious threats to these fragile point sources of habitat are lowering water levels in the Oldman River Basin and aggregation of livestock at these fragile habitats. Other potential threats along the Oldman River Basin (along with the associated coulees, springs and seeps) include: high water withdrawals and demands for agricultural irrigation; increasing water demands resulting from a booming economy and subsequent rapid growth; impoundments which would drown the habitat; municipal and industrial development including oil and gas; increasing demands for water for use in industry and domestic use; groundwater withdrawals; ranching practices; feedlots; human recreation and climate change. On top of the anthropogenic forces affecting the habitats of Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle, the required habitat is inherently sensitive. The Oldman River watershed lies within the Prairie Parkland Natural Ecozone. This ecozone includes flat and gently rolling hills covered mostly by dry mixed grasslands in southern Alberta. Since European settlement in this Ecozone, it has become one of the most developed agricultural areas in the world. Of the Ecozone’s total land area of 47 million hectares, 3% of the natural environment is believed to remain intact with 70% classified as cropland and 27% as rangeland and pasture. (Updated 2017/05/30)
The Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle (Sanfilippodytes bertae) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
8 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle (2010-12-02)Despite extensive searches, this Canadian endemic species is known from only two locations in southern Alberta, one of which has been destroyed. It is limited to springs and seepage areas along steep cliff edges or river bends. Its habitat is declining due to trampling by livestock and lowering of the water table due to withdrawals for irrigation.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010-09-03)Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.