The first time I saw one of these beetles was when I was a kid, chasing bugs with a homemade pillowcase butterfly net. I remember seeing this large beetle cruising across a clearing in some pine trees and netted it rather easily. To my great surprise, when I cupped the end of the net to dump my treasure into my critter keeper, I felt a snap and heard a loud pop from inside my hand. That the beetle could fling itself across the length of my plastic viewing box was equally as startling, since it had tucked its legs into its body and seemed to be dead.
I’ve been entranced by them ever since. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I was surprised by this specimen that volunteered itself to be the subject of its own video!
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*All photos by the author, unless otherwise noted*