Long, Black and Shiny With Big Pinchers
Not sure how else you would describe this bug. Found it crawling around under a water dish we put out for the birds. Since then I’ve seen it on a few more occasions. It’s about an inch and a half long and moves quite quickly on the ground easily disappearing under the ground debris. For this shot I had to quickly scoop it up into a dish to keep it contained long enough for a few pictures (followed by a release back to where it was found).
In trying to ID it I did a bunch of searches on “long black shiny pinchers bug” but never found anything even close. In one reference book it looked to maybe be a diving beetle larvae however we’re not close to water. Carl, a naturalist friend of ours, at first was leaning this way too and said: “The dytiscids (diving beetles) pupate on land away from the water, buried in the soil or under objects…” however shortly afterwards pointed me to another blog which seemed to confirm this is a ground beetle larvae of the family Carabidae. The site that helped point me in this direction is SomethingsCrawlingInMyHair. So, next time you find something strange in your yard, spend some time looking it up and if you’re still stumped, don’t be afraid to ask someone knowledgeable for help.