I don’t do well with bugs, so when I came across a picture of the largest beetle I have ever seen, I was scared. One Swansea woman shared an image to a local Facebook group, inquiring about the type of bug that her daughter found, and upon further investigation, this large creepy-crawly was actually spotted in Rhode Island.

Is this large, unnamed bug native to New England or was this a unique discovery? Or even worse, will I have to deal with this in my backyard any time soon?

“Anyone know what kind of bug this is?” wrote Lori Blackburn on Facebook. The picture showed a black, six-legged creature with giant antennae climbing the side of the house. The photo makes this bug look like it’s as large as my hand. It resembles a fake beetle or cockroach you buy at a store to prank your friends, but this one is very real.

Blackburn told me that this picture was actually taken in Cumberland, Rhode Island over the weekend by her daughter.

Comments under her photo ranged in guesses as to what this bug could be, from cockroach to June bug. A woman named Kimberly cleared the air, and shared an image of a Broad-necked Root Borer. So now that I had a name, it was time to do some investigating.

It turns out that this beetle is a resident of the East Coast and can be found in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Insect Identification calls the females “mammoth in size. They are more than two times larger than males and because of their heft, they are unable to fly even though they have wings.”

I would say this one is the queen of Root Borers.

Broad-necked Root Borers are most active in the summer months, and if you spot one near a home or near a building, they are simply attracted to the lights at night.

This colossal bug may not be a harm to humans, but I’ll be turning my lights off faster than before to avoid a run-in with this monster beetle.

Massachusetts Wildlife You Can Legally Take Home as Pets

Massachusetts has such diverse wildlife, but also strict limitations on what you can bring home and cuddle. In fact, there are only certain reptiles and amphibians you can keep as pets (so no raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, etc.) and you are only allowed two of each. The state also says "you cannot sell, barter, or exchange them." Also, keep in mind, these are wildlife, so it's probably best to just leave them be and maybe visit a reptile shop instead to get your next pet.

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