crazy ant like centipede
Location: tennessee mountains
April 9, 2012 10:13 am
this was found under a rock near a river bank, it tried to burrow into the dirt. It is spring and this was found near a cool mountain river. thanks for your time. it is about 4 nches long and maybe a half inch across the little things on its side do not move like legs..?  this bug is about 4 inches long and a half inch wide. It was found under a rock on a pebble river bank in the tennessee mountains. it’s back ”legs” dont move and it was trying to burrow under a small plant.
Signature: Heather Brannon


Hi Heather,
You are not the first person who has mistaken a Hellgrammite for a Centipede.  Hellgrammites are the larval form of Dobsonflies.  Though they are not venomous and are not considered dangerous, both immature Hellgrammites and fully grown female Dobsonflies are capable of inflicting a painful bite if carelessly handled.  Male Dobsonflies, despite their formidable looking mandibles, are not capable of biting humans.  Hellgrammites are a prized bait among freshwater anglers.

Location: Tennessee

3 Responses to Hellgrammite

  1. Joseph Clarke says:

    I found one in Conway Mo July 19, 2014. It was in the river down the street from my house and it got on my nephews shorts.

  2. Thomas R Miller says:

    Growing up in the hills of West Central PA near Hollidaysburg and loving to fish, I found it a delight to walk the edge of streams and catch (what locals called) soft shelled crabs (crayfish) for bass bait. It was in doing that that I was introduced to lifting rocks in fast moving shallow water and finding, what to me, became the best bait for catching crappies, etc. – the hellgrammite. They were tough and you could catch quite a few fish on one bait if you played the game just right. If you try it, one thing you’ll learn early on is those tweezers can inflict a bite that will bring blood but you learn quickly and the pain is short lived. A second thing you’ll learn is that the hellgrammite moves backward more than he’ll go forward; so, you’ve got to be quick in retrieving him from the rock. A third lesson to note – the hellgrammite has 4 little hairlike “feelers” at the tail end. That little critter has a lot of life remaining in him after your hook is slipped under the shell that surrounds the body behind the head (That’s how I put it on the hook for bait). You’ve got to use your finger nails to pitch those little hairs off or sure-a-shootin’ he’ll take your hook under a rock if one is available. If you’ve never tried it before, go lookin’, catch yourself a hand full (recommend having a pail with you- more than 1 in your hand can be a problem) and have fun fishing.

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