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A large flying beetle, a bit like a cockroach, about 1 1/2 inches long. It took off, flew around quite acrobatically and caught a moth. The second picture is of it lying on its back, holding the moth in its legs (sorry, this one is a bit fuzzy)..
Outside our house at night (outside light was on). House located in mixed forest, not urban area.
I second the I.D. by KeithRoragen. It's not a beetle or a cockroach its a giant water bug.
Nice spotting ..
It might be a Giant Water Bug.
It could have been larger than 1 1/2 inches. It was certainly much larger than any "bug" I've seen around here before and my partner thinks it was closer to 2 1/2 inches. I saw it take off and catch the moth; just as I was trying to focus my camera the first time, it took off and flew around a bit like a bat does when it's hunting. When it landed, it flipped on its back and was holding the moth. I'm glad I didn't try to pick it up if it bites.
That could be it. There is a pond nearby and with the recent warm weather, it might have recently emerged from hibernation. Thanks!
The size you give seems a bit small, but this definitely looks like Lethocerus. Giant Water Bugs, also called Toe Biters, are true bugs. They live in the water but are attracted to lights at night. They are predacious, feeding on small fish and insects, and are capable of delivering a painful bite.
Did you see it take down that moth?
Spotted on Mar 23, 2012
Submitted on Mar 25, 2012