A huge insect from North-East India
Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 10:08 PM
Hi! This 14 cm long creature was calmly resting at the verandah of our hotel in Shillong, Meghalaya state (North-East India). Apparently he came attracted by very bright lights at night. He stayed at the same spot overnight, lazily responding to our attention with very slow motions of his head. In the morning, we took a piece of paper and managed to make him move and step on it, so that we could put him under a tree in the pine-tree forest which’s around. Half an hour later he was still there, but looked more jovial and was climbing over some grass.
Shillong, Meghalaya state; altitude: 1800 m.
Wow!!!! That is an impressive Dobsonfly. Beginning in May and continuing for a few months, We get reports of smaller Dobsonflies from North America. We have also had Central and South American specimens submitted to our site, but to the best of our recollection, this is the only Asian submission. Dobsonflies are impressive insects. Your specimen is a male, as evidenced by his greatly developed mandibles. The female Dobsonfly, though her mandibles are not as impressive, is a more adept biter, and she will bite if threatened, but all that will result is a pinching sensation. The insect is quite harmless. The aquatic larval stage is known as a Hellgrammite. According to the New World Encyclodedia online, there are numerous species in India, and we cannot provide you with an exact species name.