This is a big bug!

Ann Beckett had a fun sighting. She wrote, “Jerry and I came across this [bug] outside the Mendocino Market in Mendocino Friday. He’s huge: 2 ½ inches plus long. He flies like a berserk helicopter, a herky, jerky flurry of yellow wings taking him a few feet. We thought it might be a beetle, cicada or even a roach, but it’s a Giant Water Bug.”

Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus americanus, by Ann Beckett

Giant Water Bugs are members of the order Hemiptera, true bugs, and they are the largest true bug in the US. They usually are found in water. Ann points out there is a pond at the Kelley House, which is likely its home. There are many fascinating facts about this big bug. One of them is it has breathing tubes at the end of its abdomen that act as snorkels.

Ann writes further, “It could have been a model for a Star Wars creature or an inspiration for the design of an armored military vehicle.”

Thanks to Ann for allowing me to share her photo with you here.