Everything’s bigger in Texas: A lesson in entomology

IMG_7200
Me, marveling at one of Texas’s smaller bugs.

This past Tuesday, I went to a few parks. They’re city parks, manicured nicely, maybe with playscapes. This is important to mention because although I wasn’t in the desert with a cactus and some wild boar, I was about to be schooled in Texas.

I park and my car is dripping fluid. Dripping is an understatement.

waterfall
http://www.wifflegif.com

I look under the hood and find nothing, but when I drive across the lot it literally leaves a trail of liquid. What the heck!!!!! It’s brand new! My car skills are minimal so I risk it all and decide to bolt home.

speeding
http://www.reddit.com

I arrive in one piece, only to later learn from a Texan friend that air conditioner condensation is a thing. All was well.

pumba
http://www.rebloggy.com

Sort of. In the process, I forgot what else I witnessed that day.

I was walking along and saw a tunnel in the ground. Logically, I thought it must be a snake hole. With similar genius, I stuck my face near the entrance in hopes to see its resident.

River Place bug
The monstrosity.

Imagine my surprise when I came face to face with the largest bug I’ve seen to date. It’s GIGANTIC.

ms-Ozrbo8
http://www.giphy.com

I took some pics, was totally floored… and then the car fluid debacle occurred.

pocahontas
http://www.giphy.com

The following day, I find the photo again and my interest resumes. So I start searching the web. I find Lethocerus americanus, the giant water bug–an insect so large it can eat salamanders and fish.

steve irwin
http://www.tumblr.com

However, the scholars of the internet seem to never have observed the species tunneling in the mud. This is groundbreaking stuff. I’ve potentially discovered a new behavior of the water bug.

dog.gif
http://www.giphy.com

Knowing I should at least double check with someone educated about insects before I jump to conclusions, I email an entomologist.

cat typing
http://www.giphy.com

Surprise! It’s a young cicada emerging from its underground lair. They call them ciCAEdas here versus cicahda. And apparently they’re massive.

confused
http://www.imgur.com

I’m learning something new every day. That’s it folks, that’s the end, sorry it’s anticlimactic. No giant water bug…. but maybe one day!

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