Unusual Beetle seen in Anchor Bay – a Monochamus

I was sitting on our deck reading when a fairly large bug flew into the side of my face. It flew down to the brick deck and rested in the mortar between two bricks. Rick and I had never seen anything like it before. The antennae are longer than the bug's body.

I sent my photo to bug expert Will Ericson. He wrote back, "Oh, that's cool. I haven't seen these in Mendocino before, always a pleasant surprise. This is a Monochamus sp. in the family Cerambycidae." Will told me they are wood-boring beetles and act as essential decomposers of dead trees. They are also known as Sawyer Beetles.

I thought the photo below was interesting with the shadow.

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