Greetings Mr. Bugman,
I salute your website, for educating so many of us, and taking time to answer so many of our emails. Altho my inclination was to scream wildly and poke sharpt things in it, you’ve convinced me to give that some thought. (smile)
At sundown tonite I was watering the endless garden of the house I just bought here in the Mojave desert, SoCal. Near my foot, tucking out of a hole in the sandy ground I had mistook for a rodent hole at the base of a palm tree and cactus garden, was this bug. He froze when he spied me, but I swatted him away from the hole and leaned a coffee cup over him until I found something to put him in. I thought he was a nuclear mutant roach or water bug initially. And my searches online indicated there were only like 6 species of roach and none came close to this one. Then I found your website, and figured out he had to be a beetle. [S]He is at least 7.5 cm long, 2 wide, has wings. He is shot here in my Trader Joes large 2 lb coffee can. He still lives. I will take it some bio folks at the nearby national park and see who knows what he is and find him a new home. As converted as I feel after trolling about your site for an hour, and my crunchy-bug murderous intent at bay, I have nightmares of them, so he will have to find a new home.
29 Palms, CA
Where the Mojave meets the Twilight Zone
What an entertaining letter you have written us. This is a Palo Verde Root Borer, Derobrachus geminatus. You can read more about this beetle on BugGuide. This large beetle is always a cause for alarm when encountered for the first time. Thanks for sending us your image.