Subject: Fascinating large insect
Location: Warwick, NY USA
June 27, 2017 5:52 pm
I’ve been trying to ID this insect since I first saw it 3 years ago. I see them from time to time in my backyard (usually near pool). I live in Warwick, NY.
It’s a very unusual bug, very similar to both wasp and stonefly. It’s large, about 3 cm in length and to my surprise has huge wings which are not visible when folded. It’s head looks scary with large mandibles and very short antennae. Today I found a dead one in my garage with it’s wings fully spread. Everyone who I showed it to, had instant panic like reaction 🙂
I’m hoping you can help me to ID this insect.
Signature: Len

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Len,
This is a female Dobsonfly, and though they are not aggressive towards humans, they can defend themselves with those powerful mandibles.  Interestingly, male Dobsonflies have incredibly developed mandibles, but they are incapable of biting with them.

Fascinating!
Thank you so much!
Yes I can see now it’s a dobsonfly, no doubt.
Looks like most of those that I observed were nymphs. Short antennas, no visible wings (like in pictures), but then one of them completely surprised me when it just took off and flew 🙂
Len.

Location: Warwick, New York

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