What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth or ??
August 19, 2009
I found this moth like buy in front of my garage door under where the hallogen light is. Usually I find many lunar moths there but found this today. Approx 3 inches long, narrow moth like bug. Pinchers on the front and antenae above the pinchers.
Do you have any idea what it is? I have searched some moth web sites etc,,,,but cannot find anything similar.
Central Maine USA

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Hi Deb,
Now that you know that this is a male Dobsonfly, you should be able to locate a wealth of online information. Female Dobsonflies have much smaller mandibles.   Since we just finished posting some marvelous images of a female Dobsonfly from Peru, we feel compelled to post your photo as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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23 Responses to Male Dobsonfly

  1. shiniq-wa says:


  2. randy Hamilton says:

    Caught one of these in iowa freaky looking fellow.

  3. PeaceWon says:

    I found one on my porch last night, in Texas. It is still kind of just hanging out today on the planter. Scared the dog water out of me though last night!!

  4. Timothy Beaulieu says:

    Just found 3 of them this morning in Greenbush, ME. My skin is still crawling! NASTY!

  5. Steven pounds says:

    Found one Pittsburgh PA

  6. Bunny says:

    I live in Texas and I didn’t even know these existed until One landed on me tonight on my shirt. I started freaking out trying to get it off of me and it states stuck and it had to take my husband to wack it off for it to leave. scariest moment of my life!!!

    • bugman says:

      We understand they give off a foul odor as well. Though frightening, male Dobsonflies are perfectly harmless, though one might accidentally fly into a person’s eye, in which case those sabre mandibles might do some serious damage. Larval Hellgrammites and adult female Dobsonflies both have much more practical mandibles, for defense in her case and capturing prey in the larva’s case, and an encounter with a thin skinned person might result in the loss of some blood.

  7. Alisa Devenport says:

    I’m in east Texas and found one in my front porch this afternoon HOLEEE COW!! Have never seen a big that big in my life. Now I have to use the back door…or sell the house.

  8. Janea says:

    Just found one on my window at home earlier. When I first had saw it. I was like wat the heck. I had never seen anything like it ever. And everyone I ask here about it in Cuero Texas knows nothing about them as well. Had never seen one.

  9. Kelly says:

    We found two in Wharton Texas!!😳 Never seen anything so large for a bug in my life!! What the heck, I looked up this bug, can’t believe this can fly and the Pinchers on this makes me not what to go outside with out a net over me! It said this is not harmful, but I can tell you if this thing flew on me I’d have a heart attack!!

  10. Mandy says:

    Oh my sweet tea.. found one tonight in Tennessee.. those things are huge. I thought it was a dragon fly till I took his picture and caught those pincers in the flash.. we are not going to be besties for sure!! .. never seen one in Texas tho

  11. Rhonda says:

    I was vacationing in Bat Cave , North Carolina and moved a chair and there was a bug I had never seen before! Now I know it was a Dobsonfly! Thanks for the great pictures.

  12. F. C. says:

    Just found one in PA… its huge and alien looking. Um pretty sure I am never going outside again or selling the house.

  13. ian says:

    Found one in North Carolina 7/3/2017 I’m from Florida and i just had to catch this thing when i saw it flying in the light it looked massive!

  14. Michael meabon says:

    One tried to dive bomb me in WV. Bloody hell!

  15. Paul says:

    Found 2 females in Westbrook Maine last night

  16. Just found one in Bannockburn Ontario (about 1 hr south of Algonquin Park). Really Ugly.

  17. Molly says:

    Found one on my sidewalk dying this morning. Eastern central Missouri.

  18. Tammy says:

    Found one by the front door of our office in Illinois.

  19. Amanda says:

    Found one on my porch this morning in WV!!! yikes

  20. Coyote says:

    For no one on a jobsite in STL today. Craziest bug I’ve ever seen.

  21. Jenny says:

    Found a dead male on the sidewalk in Westminster, MD. Have never seen one before and I’m 58.

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