July 21, 2009
Seen on my front door casing today. I took the photo without disturbing the bug. I assume it is a dragonfly, but was not sure due to the position of the wings. I would love to know the specific type of insect.
This is an Owlfly, a Neuropteran in the family Ascalaphidae. According to BugGuide they are: “Bizarre creatures that look like a cross between a dragonfly and a butterfly. The body resembles that of other neuropterans, more-or-less, but the prominent antennae are clubbed like those of butterflies. Key characters:
Medium to large size
Eyes large and bulge out from head
may rest in cryptic posture with abdomen projecting from perch, resembling a twig.” BugGuide also indicates “The two North American genera can be keyed easily based on structure of the eyes. Genus Ululodes has divided eyes.” Based on that information, it appears your Owlfly is in the genus Ululodes. Of the three species represented in the genus on BugGuide, your specimen most closely resembles Ululodes macleayanus.