What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dobson fly?
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico
July 9, 2011 3:16 am
I noticed this bug hanging on the curtains on my back porch about 7pm July 5th. I saw photos of dobson flies on your site and am wondering if this is one. It’s the 1st insect like it I’ve ever seen here in New Mexico, or anywhere else!
Signature: Ember

Western Dobsonfly

Hi Ember,
You are correct.  This is a female Dobsonfly, but we don’t believe it is the most commonly reported species,
Corydalus cornutus, the Eastern Dobsonfly, which BugGuide only reports as far west as Texas despite the hundreds of submissions they have received.  We researched your city, Rio Rancho, and we learned it is in northwest New Mexico, far from Texas.  The genus page on BugGuide has this information regarding the range of Dobsonflies:  “The only eastern species is Eastern Dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus. Three other species apparently have very limited distribution in North America:  Corydalus luteus – South Texas, Corydalus texanus – SW US west of the Rocky Mountains, Corydalus bidenticulatus – Arizona.  Genus is restricted to the New World–other species in Central and South America (Contreras-Ramos, 1997).”  We will go out on a limb and identify this as one of the western species, however, we don’t have a conclusive species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: New Mexico

2 Responses to Female Western Dobsonfly

  1. T-bone Jones says:

    I have seen female dobsonflies in two consecutive years in Ocean Falls on British Columbias central coast (Great Bear Rainforest). 2001 + 2002. These were either straying a helluva long distance or there may be a previously unknown population located somewhere there. I have never seen them anywhere in BC before or since.
    I am a naturalist with 35 years experience so I am sure of the identification.

    • bugman says:

      Since we have no official entomological qualifications, we do not want to challenge your observations. Dobsonflies in the genus Corydalus are not reported from British Columbia according to BugGuide data, however, the family which includes similar looking Fishflies does range in British Columbia, according to BugGuide data. Please scan the images posted to BugGuide to see if you might have encountered one of the similar looking Fishflies.

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