My wife is a native to Florida and has in the last few years noticed a bug/beetle that she has never seen before. It always seems to hang around the same small bushes that one of our local restaurants have and the only other place she has seen it is at work where they have the same type of bush.
It is completely black, around two and a half inches in length, about half an inch wide and has large pinches on the front of it’s head and it also flies.
We would both appreciate it very much if you could tell us what this bug is as, we have looked on many websites and have never found it listed.
Thanks in advance,
Robert & Laura Kitchener

Dear Robert and Laura,
It sounds like a stag beetle. We have been getting reports and sitings lately.

Thanks but that is not it. The bug I mean doesn’t have such a hard shell and has similar dimensions of a palmetto bug, but larger, with claws and a bit different in color. We are going to try to get a picture of one for ya (If we can stand around it that long, ha, ha)? Thanks for all your help!

Please send that photo. Meanwhile, I’m guessing a Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus americanus). The Giant Water Bug is a true bug, a member of the order Heteroptera. They have sucking mouthparts. At nearly three inches in length, they are among the largest insects in the continental United States. The mature insects are strong fliers and because of their streamlined, keel shaped bodies, are equally comfortable in the air or in water. The adults have a variety of common names including Toe Biters and Electric Light Bugs. Any swimmer who has ever been bitten would attest to the origin of the name Toe Biter, since the bite is extremely painful. The Giant Water Bug is a ferocious hunter which uses its front claws to grasp its prey which can include small fish as well as tadpoles and water insects. Huge swarms appear periodically in brightly lit parking lots in the South. An even larger relative in South East Asia reaches five inches in length and is prized as a delicacy in Thailand. A recent news story covers a veritable invasion of Giant Water Bugs in New Port Richie, Florida that terrified the local population. Here is an image.

Thanks for the info I think that is the right bug. At first glance of the water bug out of the water, the ‘claws’ didn’t seem to stand out. Everytime I have seen this bug, it looked as if it had ‘claws’ so I wasn’t sure until I saw the PIC attached. This looks like the bug on land as well as in water. Thanks for finally settling our minds and we wont be touching one anytime soon !!!

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