Female California Root Borer

Beetle like with big jaws red/copper color and 3-4 inches in size
July 23, 2009
Was camping in Northern california last weekend. Mendocino national forrest to be exact and we found this scurrying on the ground. It was huge and vicious. I would love to know what kind of bug this is? and how common these are? Thanks for your time.
Max Weisman
Mendocino county northern california

California Root Borer
California Root Borer

Dear Max,
This is a female California Root Borer, Priunus californicus, and common is a relative term.  The species is not uncommon, but populations may fluctuate from location to location.  We just returned from camping in the Mendocino woodlands and we were not fortunate enough to see a California Root Borer.

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