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

Subject:  A flying bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Ct
Date: 08/14/2018
Time: 09:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am just wondering if you know what this might be. I found it quite still in a bathroom closet, but when I picked it up it moved.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug watcher in CT

Summer Fishfly

Dear Bug watcher in CT,
This is a Summer Fishfly, and in the past 24 hours, we posted another image of a Summer Fishfly from Connecticut.

From what other people have said via facebook agricultural pages, mine was a female Dobson Fly. They say that they are similar…? Anyway, I have seen that the males have very large mandible, larger than this one.

Same family.  Different species.  Female Dobsonfly has very different antennae.  See BugGuide.

Cool, thanks! Insects have always been fascinating to me. It astonishes me how many different varieties there are that some people will never see in their lives.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Connecticut
Date: 08/13/2018
Time: 04:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey there!
I’m a horticulturist at a brewery in Connecticut. This insect is resting on one of my etrog trees in my citrus greenhouse. It’s about 2” long from wingtip to antennae. Thanks much!
How you want your letter signed:  Chloe

Male Summer Fishfly

Hi Chloe,
Because of your request, we learned that an etrog is a type of citrus.  Your insect is a male Summer Fishfly,
Chauliodes pectinicornis, and you can verify that by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “prefer shaded, woodland habitats” which might have led it to your greenhouse.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “larvae in slow-moving waters with lots of detritus, esp. decaying logs” so we suspect you have a sluggish stream nearby.  It poses no threat to your etrog or to any other plants in your greenhouse because BugGuide notes:  “adults may not feed” and “Adults live a week or less.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What kind of bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Hoover, Alabama
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bug on the side of our school building today. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Lisa Dodson

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Lisa,
This is a female Dobsonfly.  She has powerful mandibles and she will bite to defend herself.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Georgia
Date: 08/06/2018
Time: 11:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this insect?anon
How you want your letter signed:  Anon

Male Dobsonfly

Despite his fierce looking mandibles, this magnificent male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Biggest bug I’ve ever seen
Geographic location of the bug:  Laval, Quebec, Canada and Harrington, Quebec, Canada
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 08:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, here is a dead bug I saw today. It was near the Montmorency subway station in Laval. I’ve seen one just like it a couple of weeks ago near a lake in Harrington, Quebec, that one was alive but barely.
They are about 3.5″ long including the wings.
The kids think it’s a dead alien larvae…
I’ve never seen bugs so big up here in Quebec, are they an invading species from the south, due to the warmer weather?
Thank you very much for your great work.
How you want your letter signed:  Yves

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Yves,
This male Dobsonfly is a native species in your area, as well as in much of eastern North America.  Arguably, one of the most frighting looking insects, the male Dobsonfly is actually quite harmless.  His impressive mandibles are not capable of biting humans.  Living male Dobsonflies are even more impressive than dead individuals.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  This bug made our Girl Scout jump!
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Virginia
Date: 06/30/2018
Time: 09:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We were on a hike and had to step up onto the path over this bug.  Most of the girls thought it was very cool but some not so much!  When we came through this same area two hours later, this bug was still hanging out.  We’ve had no luck with the identification and hope you can help.
How you want your letter signed:  Bean

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Bean,
Sorry but we can never respond to all the mail we get, but when folks send reminders, we try harder.
This is a male Dobsonfly, and despite his formidable looking mandibles, he is incapable of biting a human.  He is perfectly harmless.

Hi,
No worries on the timing!  Thank you so much for the identification.  Do you have a recommendation for a good ID book?  We are working hard to instill in the campers to “Make Nature, Second Nature” so we appreciate your help!
Best to you,
Bean

Eric Eaton who frequently contributes to our site is the author of The Kaufman Guide to Insects of North America.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination