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

Subject: What is this bug??
Location: New Zealand
February 8, 2016 2:23 am
Sorry, my partner got a little freaked out and the bug got swatted 😕
Have never seen anything like this before in NZ!
Almost like a cross between a fly and a dragon fly!
Signature: Kim

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Dear Kim,
We are feeling sad that the first Dobsonfly image we have received from New Zealand has to be tagged as Unnecessary Carnage.  We found an image on FlickR that is identified as
Archichauliodes diversus, and we found another image on Hidden New Zealand Photographaphy where it states:  “New Zealand only has one Dobson fly species, They are also known as toe-bitters, due to their larva having large jaws and their tendency to bite :).”  We suspect the common name of the larva is Toe-Biter, and that is a very commonly used name for the North American Giant Water Bug despite North America having its own species of Dobsonflies.  iNaturalist states:  “Archichauliodes diversus is an insect in the subfamily Corydalinae – the Dobsonflies. In its larval form It is commonly known by the name toe-biter, and its Maori name is puene. The species is native to New Zealand. Although there are other species of Dobsonfly in other parts of the world including Asia, Australia (Archichauliodes guttiferus) and South America, Archichauliodes diversus is the only species of Dobsonfly in New Zealand. The Dobsonfly larva is the largest species of freshwater insect found in fresh water and the only family representatives in New Zealand.”  The site also states:  “The biggest threat to dobsonflies is human intervention,[14] by removing over hanging bush and trees from the waterways. This has a significant negative impact as it is a critical part in the life cycle of the Dobsonfly.[10] The Dobsonfly is only found in good quality water. Any pollution could do serious damage to not only the Dobsonfly but also other species that could be potential food source.”  Csiro has some good information on Australian Dobsonflies.  Though its larva is called a Toe-Biter (or Toe-bitter), they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Adult Dobsonflies might also bite if carelessly handled, but they do not pose any threat to humans.  We hope that should you happen to encounter another individual in the future, you will allow it to survive and that you will provide us with an image of a living Dobsonfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown monster
Location: Laval, Quebec, Canada
September 27, 2015 4:59 pm
Hi!
I found this insect, half dead, very close to the entry door of my workplace. I’ve shown the pictures around a bit, and everyone is curious to know what this could be. The Canadian $2 coin nearby is 28 mm large (1.1 inch).
Nobody has ever seen such a huge and monstrous bug like this around here. That would be great if you had any idea what this is!
Thanks for your help!
Greetings,
Signature: Maxime Joanis

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Maxime,
The male Dobsonfly pictured in your image is actually quite a common species found in much of eastern North America, but late September is rather late for a sighting.  Most of our sightings arrive in late spring and early summer.  Despite the enormous mandibles, the male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless.

Thanks for the super quick answer! Sorry it was a common/boring one. I swear, nobody here has ever seen this thing!
In case you track sightings, it was not seen when I asked, but rather on July 10 (you can see the date in the picture’s metadata (not the file’s creation/modif dates)).
Made a small donation! :) Great service! Thanks!
Maxime

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.

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.

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.

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination