Currently viewing the category: "Dobsonflies and Fishflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug
Location: Dayton ohio
August 6, 2015 9:40 pm
My cousin found this bug on her wall it looks really big
Signature: Johnna shearer

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Johnna,
This is a female Dobsonfly, and you are correct that they are quite large as North American insects go.  Though Dobsonflies are not aggressive, the female has powerful mandibles and she might deliver a painful pinch, possibly even drawing blood, if she is carelessly handled, but the bite is not venomous and it will produce nothing more than a surface wound.  Male Dobsonflies have much more impressive looking mandibles, but they are not adapted to biting and they are no threat at all to humans.

Samuel DeGrey, Ann Levitsky, Melanie Conover liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery Bug of Peru
Location: Aguas Calientes, Peru
July 24, 2015 2:33 am
This is not the best lit picture in the world but myself and my friend found it at 4am in our hotel room in Aguas Calientes, Peru, before walking up to Machu Picchu. I had heard it flying around our room the night before and thought that a small bird or bat had got in! The bug was about the size of my hand (about 15cm) and we found it on July 11th. I asked my Peruvian tour guide if he knew what it was but he shook his head in terror and swore in Peruvian. It remains a mystery…
Signature: Eve

Dobsonfly

Dobsonfly

Dear Eve,
This South American Dobsonfly has relatives in North America that are also quite large.  Despite his fierce appearance, this male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless as his mandibles are not designed to bite.

Regis Swope liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: 4″ plus winged bug with pinchers
Location: upstate NY
July 23, 2015 8:03 am
Hi I found this bug resting on my deck railing yesterday. The ruler moved as I took the picture but it is over 4″ long, has wings that are tan, brown and black, beady black eyes and “pinchers”. I did not see it fly or land. An hour or so after I took the pictures it was resting on the vinyl siding of my house about three feet away. It was gone this morning. I am in Upstate NY about 45 miles north of Albany and about 20 miles west of Vermont border.
Signature: Kathy

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Kathy,
Despite his fearsome appearance, this male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless as his mandibles cannot pierce or bite human skin.  Though her mandibles are much less impressive looking, the female Dobsonfly is actually capable of biting if carelessly handled, and she might draw blood, but again, she is considered harmless.

Thank you so much! I have never heard of that insect but now am going to research it.

They are usually found near bodies of water.

Ann Levitsky, Kathleen Travis Perin, Rachael Alexandra, Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: werid bug
Location: sc
June 26, 2015 11:58 pm
came home at night, and the end of june. the bug was sitting off away from the light, almost in the shadows, has 4 wings, eyes on the side of the head, almost ant like pinchers, to very long feelers coming off the top above and towards the front of head. I do have a couple of more pics if need be
Signature: doesn’t matter

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Though she is basically harmless, you might want to stay clear of the mandibles on this female Dobsonfly as she might deliver a painful pinch.

Sue Dougherty, Tip Crawford, Heather Duggan-Christensen liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mantis-like
Location: Potomac Maryland
June 7, 2015 3:38 pm
Hello,
We encountered this insect on walk near the Potomac river in Maryland. At first we thought it was a Praying Mantis, but looking at the photograph we are not certain.
Your help appreciated.
Signature: Curious in MD

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Curious in MD,
This amazing insect is a male Dobsonfly, who despite his fearsome looking mandibles, is perfectly harmless.  We will be setting your submission to go live to our site in mid-June while we are out of the office for a spell.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Long black bug with pinchers?
Location: Hudson valley, ny
June 5, 2015 10:24 am
Hi.
I found this bug dead in an abandoned farmhouse in central new york in late may. The underside was a an orangey-brown color and I’ve never seen a bug like this in that area before. At first I thought it was a queen termite or something, vit that doesn’t seem to be the case. Do you guys have any clue to what this is?
Signature: – its very scary pls help

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

We are speculating that the farmhouse was near a stream or river.  This is a dessicated Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly.  Both Hellgrammites and female Dobsonflies are known to bite, and they may draw blood with their powerful mandibles, but they are considered harmless, and Hellgrammites are prized bait for freshwater anglers.

Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination