What is this huge bug called?
July 14, 2010
What is this crazy looking bug? My mother and I found it on our porch one morning and we have only witnessed one similar bug about a year ago. The bug was found in July, in Reno County of Kansas. It measured close to 5 inches in length, and has what appears to be enormous mandibles protruding from it’s head. At first glance we thought maybe they were stingers of some sort, but when prodded with a stick the bug clamped down with them, leading us to believe they were mandibles, jaws, or pincers of some kind. We would really like to know what type of bug this is, as we don’t see it often, and are curious about it’s living arrangements and what brought it up onto our porch. I was hoping that with a name I could do some online research and learn more about this bug, what i t eats, where it lives, and what it’s life cycle is like. Thanks in advance!
Devin Long and Becky Redden
Buhler, Kansas

Male Dobsonfly

Hi Devin and Becky,
Your photo of a male Dobsonfly on a flyswatter has us terribly amused, probably in part because we were just making some changes to the history of the flyswatter section of our book.  Female Dobsonflies have much smaller mandibles.  We keep hearing that the male Dobsonfly uses his mandibles in either sparring contests with other males over females, or in the actual mating process, though we have never seen a photo to document either of these activities.  Adult Dobsonflies do not feed.  It was probably attracted to the porch light.

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