Is this the biggest beetle ever seen in Fife?

Local Patch Reporter Ben Dolphin discovers a very noisy great diving beetle under the bonnet of his car. 

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Stepping up to the car the other day something made me stop and look under the bonnet. 

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A seriously loud noise, sounding like something trying to scramble out.  At first we thought it could be a bird, but on closer inspection it turned out to be a huge beetle.

There was no way it could get up the smooth surface where the windscreen slipped under the bonnet, so I pulled a bit of rosebay willowherb out of the ground and put it in front of the beetle. It duly climbed on, and I pulled it up and out of its predicament.

I was amazed at how large it was. At just shy of 4cm it’s probably the biggest beetle I’ve seen here in Fife.

Closer inspection revealed it to be a beautiful green-tinged great diving beetle. A female I think, which is indicated by the furrows on its wing casings.  It clumsily flew off with an almighty buzz, instantly hit another obstacle and fell to the ground.

There’s not actually that much water around here so goodness knows how far it had flown!

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Read more exciting nature blogs by BBC Wildlife local patch reporters

BBC Wildlife wanted to find a new way to share some of our readers’ natural-history diaries with other wildlife enthusiasts, and Local Patch Reporters was born. 

Our 20 Local Patch Reporters for 2014 are aged from 10 to 64 and live from Dorset in the south to Shetland in the north.

Throughout this year they will be exploring and reporting on nature in their neighbourhood via online blogs.

Ben Dolphin is a local patch reporter from Fife 

Local nature patch:  Lomond Hills Regional Park and Kinross

I’m a seasonal assistant ranger with West Lothian Council and love being able to educate people, especially children, about the wonderful things around them. I also carry out wildlife surveys.

Wildlife aims for 2014: I saw ospreys for the first time last year and would like to see more again this year. I’d also like to take some photos of short-eared owls as I only see them when I don’t have a camera on me!