Currently viewing the category: "Hellgrammite"
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Subject: What’s the name of this bug?
Location: Stamford, Connecticut
May 16, 2015 11:24 am
Can’t find anything online !! A few things I know: It comes out when it rains. It has huge wings and it has a stinger.
Signature: Thalita

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Dear Thalita,
This is a Hellgrammite, the larval form of a Dobsonfly.  When it matures into a winged adult, it is quite fierce looking, and the adults are sexually dimorphic.  Male Dobsonflies have enormous sickle shaped mandibles, and despite the fierce appearance, they are harmless.  Female Dobsonflies have much smaller, though more utilitarian mandibles that can be used to defend her against predators.  We recently learned first hand what we have long suspected, that the bite of a female Dobsonfly might draw blood.  You are misinformed about Dobsonflies or Hellgrammites possessing stingers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this bug?
Location: Milford nh 03055
May 11, 2015 1:24 am
My husband and I went to the store this morning and noticed this large and honestly creepy bug… what is it?
Signature: The Guinesso’s

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Dear Mrs. Guinesso
This memorable insect is a Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly, and they are generally found near water.  Hellgrammites are a favorite bait of freshwater anglers.  If this Hellgrammite creeped you out, you should be thankful you did not see a winged adult male Dobsonfly.  Despite his fearsome appearance, he is perfectly harmless.

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

Subject: What is it?
Location: Rhode Island
June 8, 2014 6:08 pm
We found this crawling on our sidewalk in northern Rhode Island. There appeared to be the shells of others around. It was found in the middle of May on a mild spring day. What is it?
Signature: Any

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Dear Any,
This impressive creature is a Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly, and they are generally found near a source of water.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Jamestown, Tennessee
October 10, 2013 10:56 am
I’m a high school senior this year and currently enrolled in a Biology II class. We recently did an experiment where we placed decomposing leaves in a mesh bag and let our leaf packs sit in water for three weeks. When we opened our leaf packs today, this bug was in our packet. No other group had anything like it, and our teacher could not identify it. Do you know what this could be?
Signature: Alex

Unknown Larva

Unknown Larva might be a Hellgrammite

Hi Alex,
Unlike your Biology teacher, we do not have a background in natural sciences.  We are very curious what this experiment was supposed to produce.  What kind of water were the leaf packs sitting in?  Was it distilled water or were the packs tossed into a lake?  Since the packet was under water, this larva must be aquatic.  At first we thought it was a Hellgrammite, but upon enlarging the thumbnail that was attached to the email, we realized that the appendages typically present along the abdomen of Hellgrammites, the larval form of Dobsonflies, appear to be absent.  The head of your larva does appear quite similar to the head on this Hellgrammite posted to BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our more knowledgeable readers will correct us, but we are still leaning toward this being a Hellgrammite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: river bug in Iowa
Location: Winnebago River, Mason City IA
June 9, 2013 11:32 pm
We saw several of these bugs along a river trail today after very heavy rainfall and slight flooding. Any idea what these are?
Signature: Elizabeth Haag

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Hi Elizabeth,
This is a Hellgrammite, the semiaquatic larval form of a Dobsonfly.  For years, we have been trying to uncover the origin of the name Hellgrammite, but alas, our searching has not proven fruitful.  We are also hoping to eventually be able to post a photo of a pair of Dobsonflies mating.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scary…ish bug?
Location: Smithton, Pennsylvania
May 28, 2013 9:47 pm
Hi!
Today, I was walking on a trail today (a chilly 29th May) and found two of these. After numerous searches, I’m at a loss as to what these are, because I was pretty fascinated by them. The trail is in Western Pennsylvania, nearby a river. There’s lots of woods around, and lots of streams and springs, and such – if that’s helpful.
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Z

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Dear Z,
This is a Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly.  We just postdated an image of a male Dobsonfly to go live on June 5 since we will be away from the office.  We are going to postdate your Hellgrammite image to go live on June 6.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination