winged insect with huge mandibles
Sat, May 23, 2009 at 6:40 AM
My husband and son caught this last night, and we can’t seem to figure out what it is. It looks kind of scary! They caught it in a butterfly net and the thing chewed through the netting while we were searching for a container. It is about 2.5 – 3 inches in length, it has see through wings, and is primarily gray and brown. Like mentioned earlier it has huge mandibles. Looking closely, it almost looks as if it actually has 2 sets. A very large set for grabbing and another smaller set inside those for chewing (??) Its head is kind of flat with its eyes on the sides. Thanks for your help!!
Your intimidating insect is a female Dobsonfly. The male Dobsonfly has much more impressive mandibles, but it is the female whose mouth can bite and chew. The trophy jaws of the male Dobsonfly are used in the mating ritual.