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

Subject: Moth-like looking insect with pitcher-like antenne
Location: McNeill, Mississippi
July 15, 2016 12:49 pm
I Have NEVER seen any insect like this one on my porch right now. I have lived in the South my entire life. What is IT?!!! When I go near it, it points it’s pincher looking antenne towards me in defense!!! It is about 3-4 inches long!
Signature: Shantell L.

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Shantell,
This is a male Dobsonfly, one of our most common summer identification requests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big bug
Location: Sanford, Maine
July 14, 2016 5:11 pm
I work at a local YMCA and some kiddos found this dude just hanging out on the side of a storage shed. Middle of the morning, really hot ouside, just happened today! I didn’t see him moving at all.. came back a couple of hours later to take another pic and he was only moved slightly. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Ashleigh Slowik

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Ashleigh,
This is a male Dobsonfly, one of our most common summer identification requests.

Thanks for letting me know. What do they do? I can’t believe I’ve never seen one before in my life.. pretty crazy looking.

Dobsonflies are generally found not far from a source of water.  The larval Hellgrammites are used as bait by anglers.  Adult Dobsonflies do not eat, living long enough to mate and produce a new generation.  Male Dobsonflies have impressive mandibles that are ineffective in terms of biting to defend themselves, while female Dobsonflies have more utilitarian mandibles that could produce a pinching bite if carelessly handled, but they are still considered harmless toward humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Ohio
July 7, 2016 12:32 pm
I found this on a golf course green while working and I never have seen one before, it was pretty big and was looking up at me when I got close to it.
Signature: Stin

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Stin,
This is a male Dobsonfly, and despite his fearsome appearance, he is perfectly harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Northern New Mexico
July 5, 2016 10:41 pm
Bug found in northern New Mexico.
Signature: William

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Dear William,
This is a female Dobsonfly, a common summer sighting in eastern North America.  Though BugGuide does not report any sightings from New Mexico, sightings from nearby Texas are quite common.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Outside in Vermont
Location: Vermont
July 1, 2016 11:47 am
This was at a friends house- No idea what it is
Signature: ET

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Dear ET,
This is a female Dobsonfly, a common summer sighting in Eastern North America.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Male and Female Fish Fly?
Location: Troy, VA
June 30, 2016 2:25 pm
I believe these are male and female fish flies. The female was very active while the male just sat there. I don’t think she ever closed her wings. I will draw no conclusions from this.
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Male Fishfly (Pectinate Antennae)

Male Fishfly (Pectinate Antennae)

Dear Grace,
We really love your newest images.  Perhaps you captured these Fishflies post-coital and he has completed his mission and now can contribute to the food chain, while she must have the energy to lay eggs in a nearby aquatic environment.  It is late in the season for Spring Fishflies, according to BugGuide, but your female appears to have serrate or saw-like antennae, a characteristic of the female Spring Fishfly as opposed to the female Summer Fishfly, though this is the season for the Summer Fishfly according to BugGuide, as both female and male Summer Fishflies have pectinate or comb-like antennae, along with only the male Spring Fishfly.  Read more about the Spring Fishfly,
Chauliodes rastricornis, on BugGuide and also read more about the Summer Fishfly, Chauliodes pectinicornis, on BugGuide.  It took us years finally to get images of mating, related Dobsonflies. We prefer your image of the male Fishfly on the white background as it better sets off his antennae.

Female Fishfly (Filiform Antennae)

Female Fishfly (Serrate Antennae)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination