Currently viewing the category: "Dobsonflies and Fishflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Underwater centipede??
Geographic location of the bug:  Alta, CA
Date: 12/08/2017
Time: 12:29 AM EDT
So, our house wraps around the remnants of a historic gold mine with access to the mine from a back door. There is a fresh water spring that flows from miles back, with several small, dammed pools about a quarter mile in. Today while spelunking, we crossed the path of a peculiar centipede looking insect below the water in a pool about 8 to 10 inches deep! He had a sort of swim/crawl movement and I’d say about 3 inches long and a half inch thick. Wondering if he’s a native ethereal dweller or some sort of astral crosser come to us from The Upsidedown.
How you want your letter signed:  the good people of InnerEarth

Aquatic Larva, probably Dobsonfly

Dear good people of InnerEarth,
This is an aquatic larva of a flying insect, and we are relatively certain it is a member of the family Corydalidae, which includes Dobsonflies and Fishflies.  The similar looking larva of the Eastern Dobsonfly is known as a Hellgrammite.  Here is a BugGuide image of a Fishfly larva.  Your larva might be that of a California Dobsonfly,
Neohermes californicus


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Walking through memory lane
Geographic location of the bug:  Colombia, South America.
Date: 11/19/2017
Time: 06:22 PM EDT
Hey! So I was just erasing some pictures on my phone and I came across this giant flying scary bug I once encountered and took a picture of. Maybe a Corydalinae? However, I just can’t seem to get the species right. It was like 3 inches long, as far as I remember. Could you give me a hand?
How you want your letter signed:  So close yet so far, Daniel.

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Daniel,
This is a female Dobsonfly and you are correct that she is in the subfamily Corydalinae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Winged bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Woodbury CT
Date: 09/20/2017
Time: 09:32 PM EDT
Can you please tell us what this bug is? It was out at night by our front porch light.
How you want your letter signed:  Nancy


Dear Nancy,
This is a Fishfly, and considering the season, we speculate it is a Summer Fishfly,
Chauliodes pectinicornis. According to BugGuide:  “Antennae pectinate in both sexes”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Weird bug with backwards head
Geographic location of the bug :  McKinney Texas
August 26, 2017 9:22 AM
I have no clue what this is
It gave me chills it looks like scifi related
How you want your letter signed:  None

Male Dobsonfly

Dear None,
This is a male Dobsonfly, and we suspect this is a threat position used to intimidate predators.  Those scimitar shaped mandibles look fierce, but they are actually quite useless when it comes to biting humans, so they are harmless.  The mandibles are used by males to impress females and to thwart other males who might be competing for females.  Female Dobsonflies have less impressive looking but more formidable mandibles.

Male Dobsonfly


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug from Andhra Pradesh India
Location: Andhra Pradesh, India
August 14, 2017 11:25 am
Can you identify this bug? I found it outside the Borra Caves in Andhra Pradesh, India. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Signature: Celeste

Yellow Dobsonfly

Dear Celeste,
This is really a gorgeous yellow Dobsonfly, and we believe it is the same as this Dobsonfly from Burma that we identified as
Nevromus austroindicus.  According to the Aranyaparva blog:  “a dobsonfly Nevromus austroindicus. Very few people have seen this insect. In fact, they gave it a name and formally described it as recently as in 2012! The specimen was from Karnataka. Shyamal has described it as a living fossil in his blog. The males have spectacularly long, tusk-like intimidating mandibles. This is a classic case of how looks can be deceptive. Although these pincers are long, they are weak and help only during the mating season; to fight away other males and to impress the females. The females, like the one we saw, have short, sharp pincers. If we try to mess around with them, we must also brace ourselves to lose some blood”  and  “Very little is known about this Western Ghats species Nevromus austroindicus. The fact that it has been described so late shows the lack of information about it.” 

Thanks Daniel!  I do a type of hand embroidery called Stumpwork and bugs are one of the things that I like to make.  And as an added challenge, I like to do ones that I find when we travel.

How wonderful.  Please send us some images if you can.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found in Danville Ca.
Location: Danville, California
August 5, 2017 1:08 pm
My friend texted me this pic of a cool bug. She’s disgusted, I think it’s awesome. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Michell

California Dobsonfly

Dear Michell,
We agree with you that this California Dobsonfly,
Neohermes californicus, is awesome.  We are surmising there is a stream near where this Danville sighting occurred.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination